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of t^ HiotiovxCiUt 

^orÌFlg of Ogninipoìlropion* 

SESSION 1896-97. 






President :^Tke Most Han. the Marquess of Bute, K.T, 

Thb Honoubablb Sooibtt of Cthmbodosion, originally founded under Royal 
patronage in 1751, was revived in 1873, with the object of bringing into closer contact 
Welshmen, particularly those resident out of Wales, who are anxious to advance the 
welfare of their country ; and of enabling them to unite their efforts for that purpose. 
Its especial aims are the improvement of Education , and the promotion of intellectual 
culture by the encouragement of Literature, Science, and Art, as connected with 

Meetings of the Society are held in London during the Spring and Sninmer 
months, for the Beading of Papers on Literary, Scientific, and Artistic subjects, and 
for the discussion of practical questions within the scope of the Society's aims. A 
Series of Meetings is annually held in Wales in connection with the National 
Eisteddfod, under the name of "The Ctmmbodobio!^ Section^ to promote the 
consideration of Bducational, Literary, and Sooial Questions affecting the Princi- 
pality. It was from these meetings that the ''National Eisteddfod Associa- 
tion", the "Society of Welsh Musicians", ançl the "Society fob Utilising 
THE Welsh Language" sprang: the latter being the outcome of the inquiries 
instituted by the Society of Cymmrodorion in 1884 and 1885. 

The Society's collection of books, formed by the bequests of the late Joseph 
Edwards and the late Henry Davies, and by subsequent donations and purchases, is 
open to the use of Members as a Lending Library. 

Subscription to the Society, entitling to copies of all its publications, and 
admission to all meetings : — One Guinea per annum. 

Application for membership should, be addressed to the Secretary, B. Vincent 
Evans, New Stone Buildings, 64, Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 


Y Cymmrodor, Vols, ii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, xii, 10«. 6<?. per volume. [Vols, 
i and iii are out of print. J 

The History of the Cymmrodorion. Out of print. 

A Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe» by Wyllyam Salesbury (1647). 
Facsimile, black letter. 4 parts, 2s. 6d. each. 

The Gkododin of Anenrin Gwawdrydd, by Thomas Stephens, Author of The 
Lit&ratwe of the Kymry. 6 parts, 28. 6d. each. 

An Essay on Petinillion Singing (Hanes ac Henafíaeth Oanu GydaV TannanX 
by J. Jones (iiíím Vy chart). 1 part, 2«. 6^. 

Ystorya de Carolo Magno (from the ** Bed Book of Hergest"). 1 part, 2s. 6d. 

Athravaeth Gristnogavl (from the unique copy belonging to the late Prince 
Louis Luoien Bonaparte, originally printed at Milan, A.D. 1568); 1 part, 2s. 6d. 

The Blessednes of Brytaine, by Maurice KyflSn (1587). 1 part, 1«. Qd. 

Gerald the Welshman, by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Demy 8vo,, vellum 
cloth, gilt, 10«. 

The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen of Henllys. Edited 
by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Being No. 1 of the Cymmrodorion Becord 
Series. 2 parts, 21s. Issued free to Members of the Society, by the Editor. 

The Court Rolls of the Lordship of Buthin or DyflBryn-Cawyd, of the 

Reign of King Edward the First, preserved in the Public Record Office. Edited, 
with Translations, Notes, etc., by R. Arthur Roberts, of H.M. Public Record OflSce. 
Being No. 2 of the Cymmrodorion Record Series. Price 21«. Issued free to 
Members of the Society. 

The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 

(Sessions, 1892-93, 1893-94, 1894-95, 1895-96, 1896-97). 

Gweithiau lolo Gooh : Gyda Nodiadau Hanesyddol a Beirniadol, gan Charles 
Ashton. The Works of lolo Goch. Price 10«. 6i?. 

To he obtained on application to the Secretary^ at the Cymmrodorion Lihra/ryy 
64, Chancery Lane, London, W,C. 








SESSION 1896-97.'^ 









A8T0H, LCr.ox A*J3 
TILDEM F<^" 'O/vl .;^ -* 

R I*!'* I. 


Devizes : 
Pbinted by Geo. Simpson. 


Eeport of the Council for 1896-97 ... ... v 

Statement of Eeceipts and Payments for 1896-97 ... xiii 
Officers, Council, and Members op the Society, 1897-98 xiv 

Music in Wales. By Joseph Bennett ... ... 1 

Domestic and Decorative Art in Wales. By Thomas E. 

JliLLIS, jyL.x ■ ... ... ... ... •■• x4 

Suggestions as to the Fuller Study of Owen Glyndwr. 

By " Owen Rhoscomyl '* ... ... ... 84 

Observations on ** Owen Rhoscomyrs** Paper, by 
Hubert Hall, F.S.A., Director of the Royal His- 
torical Society ... ... ... ... 47 

Postscript by ** Owen Rhoscomyl '* ... ... 66 

Recent Developments in Welsh Education. By Rev. G. 

Hartwell Jones, M.A. ... ... ... ... 69 

Illustrations to Mr. Thomas E. Ellis's Paper on Domestic 
and Decorative Art in Wales, and Notes thereon, by 
Robert Williams, F.R.I.B.A. ... ... ... 81 

a 2 




aiwiurable ^öẁtj of O^gmmrodoriatt, 

For the Year ending November dth, 1897, 

Presented to the Annual Meeting, held on Thursday, 

18th OP November, 1897. 

In reviewing the history of the Society for the past twelve 
months the Council cannot but mark with the deepest 
sorrow and regret the irremediable losses sustained through 
the removal by death of so many of its distinguished 
members. Rarely indeed has any Society suffered such 
grievous misfortunes from this cause as have fallen to the 
lot of the Cymmrodorion during the last year. From the 
ranks of its Vice-Presidents no less than five have been 
called away. A year that sees the removal of such distin- 
guished examples of Welsh learning and Welsh patriotism 
as the Right Rev. Dr. Basil-Jones, the late Lord Bishop of 
St. David's, the Very Rev. Dr. Vaughan, the scholarly Dean 
of LlandafP, the Venerable Archdeacon Griffith of Neath, 
His Honour Judge Lewis, and the Right Hon. Sir George 
Osborne Morgan, cannot but be sadly memorable in our 
annals. From amongst our members we have also lost 
many who have played no mean a part in the development 
of the national life of Wales, including Mrs. Thomas, 
Ysguborwen, Mr. Milo Griffith, a sculptor of high merit, 
once a member of this Council, the Rev. Llewelyn Thomas, 
M.A., of Jesus College, Oxford, Dr. Gomer Davies, Mr. 


Alderman Hughes, of Liverpool, Mr. Deputy Hughes, of 
Finsbury Circus, the Rev. John Evans (Eglwysbachjy one 
of the foremost of Welsh preachers, and Mr. Francis T. 
Palgrave, one of the most delightful of writers, and the 
author of the deeply -interesting "Memoir of Henry 
Vaughan", which appeared not so very long ago in the 
pages of Y Gymmrodor. Through these and other bereave- 
ments the Society has sustained wounds which ydll take 
very many years to heal. 

In the face of such loss and sorrow, it is gratifying to be 
able to announce that the interest in the Society's work, 
and the support extended to it by those concerned for the 
welfare and progress of Welsh Literature, continues un- 
abated. The number of new members added to the Society 
during the past year was 40. Mr. Egerton Phillimore, in 
recognition of his most eminent services to Welsh Litera- 
ture, has been elected an Honorary Member of the Society. 

During the year the following meetings were held : — 

In London : — 


January 14. — Paper on ** Music in Wales ", by Mr. Joseph Ben- 
nett. Chairman, Mr. John Thomas ( Fencer dd GwaliaJ^ 
Harpist to Her Majesty the Queen. 

March 10. — Address on *^ Domestic and Decorative Art in Wales", 
by Mr. Thomas E. £^liis, M.P. Chairman, Dr. Isambard 
Owen, M.A., Senior Deputy Chancellor of the University of 

May 12. — Paper containing ** Some Suggestions for the Better 
Study of Owen Glyndwr ", by " Owen Rhoscomyl '*, author 
ot Battlement *and Tower, Chairman, Mr. Hubert Hall, 
F.S.A., Hon. Secretary of the Boyal Historical Society. 

July 17.— Garden Party given by the President and the 
Marchioness of Bute at St. John's Lodge, Regent's Park. 

In Wales : — 

At the Town Hall, Newport (Mon.), in connection with 
the National Eisteddfod of Wales, 1897 (Cymmrodorion 
Section) : — 


Aug. 2, 1897. — Address on ** Recent Developments in Welsh 
Ëdacation *\ by the Rev. G. Hartwell Jones, M.A., Rector of 
Nutfield. Chairman, the Mayor of Newport (Mr. Alderman 

Ang. 4, 1897. — Joint Meeting with the Society for the Utiliza- 
tion of the Welsh Language. Paper un *^The Place of 
Welsh in Education ", by Professor W. Lewis Jones, M.A., 

The arrangements for the coming Session include papers 
by Dr. Henry Hicks, President of the Royal Geological 
Society, Madame Mary Owen (Mrs. Ellis GriflBith) who will 
give an Illustrative Paper on "The Evolution of Welsh 
Music", assisted by Mr. John Thomas (Pencerdd Owalia), 
Mr. Alfred W. Palmer (who will read one of his im- 
portant contributions to Welsh Local History), Mr. J. H. 
Davies, M.A., Mr. Ernest Rhys, and Mr. John Ballinger, 
of the Cardiff Free Library. 

It affords the Council special gratification to announce 
that the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, M.A., the distinguished 
writer and antiquary, who has recently become a member 
of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, and who is 
now engaged in studying the Hut Circles and Hill Castles, 
or GaeraUy of South Wales, and comparing them with 
similar structures in Devon and Cornwall, has promised to 
read a paper before the Society on this most interesting 
subject in the course of next year. 

It is proposed to hold the Annual Dinner of the Society 
at the Hotel Métropole on Monday, the 13th of December, 
and the Council have great pleasure in making known that 
a distinguished Welshman, the Right Hon. Lord Justice 
Vaughan-WiUiams, has accepted an invitation to preside 
on the occasion. 

During the year the volume of Transactions for the 
Session 1895-96 was issued. It contains the following 
papers, viz. : — An Address on 

• ■ • 


Ihe Historical Importance of the Cymric Tribal System^ by Dr. 

Frederic Seebohm. 
27ie Development of the Agricultural Resources of WaleSf by Mr. 

Tom Parry. 
Early Relations between Gael and Brython^ by Professor Kano 

Cymru Fu : Some Contemporary Statements, by Mr. R. Arthur 

Roberts, together with a 
Transcript of one of the Minister's Accounts preserved in the 

Public Record Office. 

The long-delayed Vol. xii of YCymmrodor is, the Council 
are happy to say, now ready for issue. It contains an 
important contribution to the History of 

The Court of the President and Council of Wales and the Marches, 
from 1478 to 1575, by the late Judge David Lewis. 

Notes on Offa's and WaVs Dykes, by Mr. Alfred Neobard Palmer. 

A Paper on Celtic Art, vnth a Suggestion of a Scheme for the 
Better Preservation and Freer Study of the Monuments of the 
Early Christian Church in Wales, by Mr. T. H. Thomas, R.G. A. 

And an Obituary of the late Judge Lewis, by one of his former 
Colleagues on the Council. 

The Council desire to acknowledge their deep indebted- 
ness to their late Editor, Mr. Phillimore, who edited and 
annotated all the contents of this volume, and prepared it 
for the press. All the longer and many of the shorter 
notes to the late Judge David Lewis' paper were written 
by Mr. Phillimore, though through inadvertence the word 
Ed. has not been appended to them. He is also the author 
of the notes signed Ed. in Mr. T. H. Thomas' paper. 

The Transactions of the Society for the Session 1896-97 
are now being printed, and will shortly be published. They 
contain the whole of the Sessional Papers read at the 
Meetings recorded in the earlier part of this report. Those 
who listened with so much interest to Mr. Alfred Nutt's 
paper on "The Arthur and Mongan Legend" in a previous 
Session, will be glad to know that it is included in the two 
valuable Essays contributed by Mr. Nutt to the Edition of 


^^The Voyage of Bran, the Son of Febal", published in 
the Grimm Library Series by Mr. David Nutt. 

It is with a sense of lively gratitude that the Council 
find themselves enabled to announce the completion of 
Part II of Owen^s Pembrokeshire, being No. 1 of the 
" Cymmrodorion Record Series ". With the same generosity 
as characterised the issue of the First Part, Mr. Henry 
Owen has again placed at the disposal of the Council a 
sufficient number of Part II to enable them to give a free 
copy of the work to any member who may choose to apply 
for it. The work entailed in the preparation and the 
publication of these two parts, at his own personal expense, 
and his free gift of copies to all the members of the Society 
of Cymmrodorion has placed the Society under a heavier 
obligation to Mr. Henry Owen (who is at once the pro- 
jector, the editor, and the publisher of Owen^s Pembroke- 
shire) than the Council will attempt to express. They learn 
with the deepest satisfaction that Mr. Owen proposes to 
continue his invaluable labours in connection with the 
history of his native county. It should, however, be 
understood that future parts of the Pembrokeshire are not 
included in Mr. Henry Owen's present to the Society, but 
they will be supplied to such members as may desire to 
have them on reduced terms, as was the case with a former 
book, viz., Gerald the Welshman, issued by the same 

Progress is being made with the printing of The Black 
Book of St. David^s, under the editorship of Mr. Willis 
Bund, and it has been decided to issue the proposed 
editions of Nennius and Gildas as numbers of the ^^Cymmro- 
dorion Record Series". Amongst other material in hand 
for immediate publication is a scholarly collation by 
Professor Kuno Meyer (based upon a collation originally 
made by Mr. Whitley Stokes), of the Latin and Welsh 

texts of the Lives of the Cambro-British Saints, with the 
original MSS. 

The Volume xii of Y Gymmrodor, to which reference has 
been made^ will close a First Series of that publication. 
Arrangements have been made for carrying on the publi- 
cation under the control and supervision of an Editorial 
Committee, consisting of 

Principal Bhys (Chairman). 

Mr. Henry Owen (Vice-Chairman). 

Mr. Alfred Nutt. 

Mr. Edward Owen. 

Mr. Willis Bund, and 

Mr. E.Vincent Evans (Secretary). 

It is not proposed to interfere with the present method 
of publishing the Transactions, but the Cymmrodor will be 
reserved for the publication of Texts and other new 
material, and for expert scholarly discussion upon certain 
well-defined aspects of Welsh Literature and Welsh 
Archaeology — using that word in its widest sense. 

The Council desire to record their special thanks to the 
Marquess of Bute (President of the Society), and the 
Marchioness of Bute, for the most generous and hospitable 
manner in which they entertained the members at their 
London residence at the close of the last Session. 

The members will note, probably with satisfaction, that 
the Society has now secured commodious and convenient 
premises for the holding of the meetings of the Council, 
and for the storing of the Society's property. They are 
indebted to Mr. Stephen Evans (Chairman of the Council), 
Dr. Alfred Daniell, Mr. W. Cadwaladr Davies, and Mr. T. 
Marchant Williams, for the trouble they have taken in 
putting an end to the homeless condition of the Society. 

The Council, on behalf of the members, had pleasure in 
joining in the National congratulations to Her Majesty the 
Queen on the completion of sixty years of her glorious 


reign, and they had the satisfaction of being informed that 
their Address of Congratulation had been very graciously 
' received by Her Majesty. 

During the year the Council have been able to add a 
considerable number of Welsh books, and books relating 
to Wales, to the Library, and they have pleasure in stating 
that one of their number. Dr. Alfred Daniell, has kindly 
undertaken to prepare a catalogue of all the books belong- 
ing to the Society. In this connection they would appeal 
to the members for contributions in kind to the Library. 
They are particularly anxious to obtain sets of the 

ArchcBologia Cambrensis, 

The Montgomeryshire Collections, 

The Bed Dragon, 

Y Traethodydd, 

Y Oeninen, 

Y Lienor, 

and other such like periodical publications. The Council 
desire to acknowledge the following presents received for 
the Library: — 

Ihe Laws of Wales, by Hubert Lewis, presented by the publisher 
(Mr. KUiot Stock), on the recommendation of Professor 
Lloyd, of Bangor. 

The Voyage of Bran the Son of Febal, edited by Professor 
Kuno Meyer, Vol. ii, presented by Mr. Alfred Nutt. 

Bye-Oones, presented by Messrs. Woodall, Min shall, & Go. 

Under the Society's Eules, the term of office of the 

following Officers expires, viz. : — 

The President. 

The Vice-Presidents. 

The Auditors. 

And 10 Members of the Council retire in accordance with 

Rule 4, viz. : — 

Mr. Stephen Evans. 

Mr. W. Oadwaladr Davies. 

Mr. W. E. Davies. 


Mb. E. Vincent Evans. 
Mb. William Evans. 
Mb. Ellis Jones Gbiffith. 
Mb. W. Tudob BfWELL. 
Rev. G. Habtwell Jones. 
Mb. Alfbed Nutt. 
Mb. Edwabd Owen. 

These members are eligible for re-election, and no other 
cause of vacancy has arisen since the last meeting. 

The Statement of Receipts and Payments for the year, 
duly audited and certified, is submitted herewith. 

Î1 ■ ■ ■ ■ 
In - 

iíli M 






ûttDurable JJûci^tg of (Ê^nmmroAonon, 


Literature, Science, and Art, as connected with Wales. 


SOCIETY, 1897-98. 

{Corrected to 1st March, 1898.) 



The Eight Hon. The Earl of Je»&ey. 

The Eight Hon. The Earl of Powis. 

The Eight Eev. The Lord Bishop of Llandaff. , 

The Eight Eev. The Lord Bishop of St. Asaph. 

The Eight Eev. The Lord Bishop of Bangor. 

The Eight Eev. The Lord Bishop of St. David's (deceased). 

The Eight Eev. Prancis Mosttn, D.D., Bishop of Ascalon 

and Vicar Apostolic of Wales. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Tredegar. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Penrhtn. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Aberdare. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Mosttn. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Kensington. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Kenton. 
The Eight Hon. Lord Windsor. 
Lord-Justice Vaughan-Williams. 
Sir Watkin Williams Wtnn, Bart. 
Sir Egbert A. Cunliffe, Bart. 
Sir W. Thomas Lewis, Bart. 
Sir George Osborne Morgan, Bart., M.P. (deceased). 


Sir John T. D. Llewelyn, Bart., M.P. 
Lieut.-General Sir James Hills-Johnes, G.C.B., V.C. 
Sir Edward J. Reed, K.CB. 
Sir David Evans, K.C.M.G. 
Sir Owen Egberts, D.C.L., P.S.A. 
Sir Walter Morgan. 
Sir John H. Puleston. 
Sir Lewis Morris. 

W. Cornwallis-West, Lord Lieutenant, co. Denbigh. 
H. R. Hughes, Lord Lieutenant, co. Flint. 
Owen M. Edwards, M.A. 
Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. 
D. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C, M.P. 
The Very Rev. The Dean of Llandapp (deceased). 
The Archdeacon of Llandapp {deceased). 
His Honour Judge Owen. 
His Honour Judge Lewis {deceased). 
His Honour Judge Parry. 
His Honour Judge Gwilym Williams. 
William Rathbone. 
J. Ignatius Williams. 
■ William R. M. Wynne, Lord Lieutenant, co. Merioneth. 


Stephen Evans, J.P. {Chairman). 

Alfred Daniell, M.A., D.Sc. 

W. Cadwaladr Davies. 

W. E. Davies. 

E. Vincent Evans. 

William Evans. 

Ellis J. Griffith, M.P. 

W. Tudor Howell, M.P. 

T. Howell Williams Idris, P.C.S. 

R. Henry Jenkins. 

Rev. G. Hartwell-Jones, M.A. 

T. E. Morris, M.A., LL.M. 

Alfred Nutt. 

Edward Owen. 

Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., P.S.A. 

IsAMBARD Owen, M.D., M.A. 

Egerton Phillimore, M.A. 

Principal John Rhys, M.A., LL.D. 

Professor Predk. T. Roberts, M.D. 

H. Lloyd Roberts. 



R, Arthur Egberts. 

EiCHARD Egberts, B.A. 

J, Egmillt Allen, P.S.A. 

D. Lleufer Thgmas, B.A. 

HowEL Thomas. 

John Thomas {Pencerdd Ghvalia), 

W. Cave Thomas, F.S.S. 

Sir John Williams, Bart., M.D. 

T. Marchant Williams, B.A. 

J. W. Willis-Bund, F.S.A. 

H. Lloyd-Roberts. 

John Burrell. Ellis W. Davies. 

E. Vincent Evans. 

Library and Offices : 64, Chancery Lane, W.C. 


The London Joint Stock Bank (Limited) > Victoria Street, 


Corresponding Members. 

For North Wales. — The Rev. Canon Silvan Evans, B.D., 
Llanwrin Rectory, Machynlleth; Richard Williams, 
F.R.Hist.S., Newtown ; Professor John E. Lloyd, M.A., 
Bangor; Alfred Neobard Palmer, F.S.A., Wrexham. 
For South Wales. — The Very Rev. The Dean of St. 
David's; The Ven. Archdeacon Griffiths, B.D., Rector 
of Neath {deceased) ; John Owens, Llandinam ; Professor 
Powel, M.A., Cardiff; Llywarch Reynolds, B.A., 
Merthyr TydvU. For Monmouthshire. — ^Joseph A. Brad- 
NEY, Monmouth. For Oxford. — ^Principal Rhys, M.A., 
Jesus College ; J. Gwenogfryn Evans, M.A. For Birming- 
ham. — ^D. C. Lloyd-Owen, F.R.C.S. For Edinburgh. — 
Alfred Daniell, M.A., D.Sc. For Brittany. — Professor 
Joseph Loth, Rennes. For France. — Professor Henri 
Gaidoz, Paris. For Germany. — ^Professor Ernst Windisch, 
Leipzig. For the United States. — J. C. Roberts, Utica, 
N.Y. For New York. — ^Henry Blackwell. 



Aberdare, The Rt. Hon. Lord, DufPryn, Mountain Ash, 

South Wales. 
Adpar-Jones, W., Pratt Street, Camden Town, N.W. 
Advocates^ Library^ Edinburgh. 
Alexander, D. T., 4, High Street, Cardiff. 
Allen, Rev. W. O. B., M.A., 83, St. George's Road, S.W. 
Angell, Lewis, M.Inst.C.E., Town Hall, Stratford, E. 
Armstrong, Miss, Lady Owen's School, Islington, N". 
Ault, Edwin, 47, Victoria Street, S.W. 

Bangor, The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of. The Palace, 

Bankes, J. Eldon, B.A., J.P., 13, Tite St., Chelsea, S.W. 

Baring-Gould, Rev. S., M.A., Lew Trenchard, N". Devon. 

Berlin Royal Library^ per Messrs. Asher & Co., 13, Bed- 
ford Street, Covent Garden, W.C. 

Bibliotheque de VUniversite de Rennes, Rennes, lUe-et- 
Vilaine, France (per M, H, Welter ^ 69, Riie Bonaparte^ 

BlackweU, Henry, Woodside, Long Island, New York, 

Blandy-JenMns, Colonel J., Llanharran, Pont-y-Clun, 

Bodleian Library^ The Curators of the, Oxford. 

Bowen, Mrs., 28, Fitzjohn's Avenue, N.W, 

Bowen, The Rev. David, B.A., Monkton Priory, Pembroke. 

Bowen, Ivor, 2, Pump Court, Temple, E.C. 

Bowen, John, 42, Regent's Park Road, N.W. 

Bowen-Rowlands, W., Q.C., 33, Belsize Park, N.W. 

Bradney, Joseph A., J.P., Tal-y-Coed, Monmouth. 

Brander, Rev. G., M.A., Femdale Cottage, Southborough, 

British Museum Library^ Great Russell St., Bloomsbury, W.C. 

Brown, Rev. J. Jenkyn, Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birming- 

Broome, Joseph, J.P., Sunny-Hill, Llandudno. 

Bruce, The Hon. William N"., Charity Commission, White- 
hall, S.W. 

Burgess, W. H., Devon Lodge, East Molesey, Surrey. 

Bume-Jones, Sir E., Bart., The Grange, West Kensington, 

Burrell, John, The Admiralty, Whitehall, S.W. 



Bute, The Most Hon. the Marquess of, K.T., The Castle, 
Cardiff {President). 

Cainbridge University Library, Cambridge. 

Cardiff Free Library (John Ballinger, Chief Librarian), 

Carnarvon Free Library , Carnarvon. 

Carr, Lascelles, J.P., Cwrt-y-Vil, Penarth, Glamorganshire. 

Carrow, John, Stratheden House, Blackheath. 

Clark, Charles J., 36, Essex Street, Strand, W.C. 

Cleaton, Edm. R., Vaenor, De Frene Boad, Sydenham, S.E. 

Cobb, W. W., M.A., Hilton House, Atherstone, Warwick- 

Coram, Chas., London and Provincial Bank, High Street, 
Stoke Newington, N". 

Coram, J. H., J.P., Neyland, Pembrokeshire. 

Corbett, John, J.P., Impney, Droitwich. 

Cory, Clifford J., J.P., Llantarnam Abbey, Monmouthshire. 

Cory, John, Cardiff. 

Co well, E.B., M. A. (Professor of Sanskrit in the University 
of Cambridge), 10, Scrope Ter., Cambridge (Honorary) 

Cunliffe, Sir Robert A., Bart., Acton Park, Wrexham. 

Cymmer Colliery Workmen^ s Institute, Porth, Glamorgan- 

Daniell, Alfred, M.A., D.Sc, 8, New Court, W.C. 

Daniel, William, 96, Tressillian Road, Brockley, S.E. 

Darbishire, Miss S. A., 30, Drapers Street, Walworth, S.E. 

Darlington, Thos., M.A., H.M. Inspector of Schools, 

David, Alexander J., B.A., LL.B., 4, Harcourt Building, 
Temple, B.C. 

Davies, Alfred, The Lothians, Fitz John's Avenue, N.W. 

Davies, Charles J., M.A. Oxon, M.R.A.I., 26, Courtfield 
Gardens, South Kensington, S.W. 

Davies, David, 21, NichoU Square, E.C. 

Davies, Edward, J.P., Plasdinam, Llandinam, Mont, (de- 

Davies, E. H., J.P., Pentre, Pontypridd. 

Davies, Ellis W., Exchequer and Audit Department, 
Somerset House, W.C. 

Davies, Evan J., Talsam, Ham melton Road, Bromley, Kent. 

Davies, Gomer, M.D., 9, Pembridge Villas, Bayswater, W. 


Davies, H. Naunton, M.D., J.P., Forth, Pontjrpridd. 

Davies, Rev. J. Alford, M.A., New Bamet. 

Davies, J. Emil, 34, Carson Boad, West Dulwich, S.E. 

Davies, J. H., M.A., J.P., Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho. 

Davies, John R., J.P., Ceris, Bangor. 

Davies, J. Trevor, Solicitor, Sherborne. 

Davies, J. Wallis, 39, Victoria Street, S.W. 

Davies, Morgan, M.D., 10, Goring Street, Houndsditch, E. 

Davies, M. Vaughan, M.P., Tan-y-Bwlch, Aberystwyth, 

and 17, Hyde Park Gardens, W. 
Davies, Rev. Principal T. Witton, B.A., The Midland 

College, Nottingham. 
Davies, Thos., M.D., 71, Comeragh Road, W. 
Davies, Mrs. Timothy, Pantycelyn, Oakhill Road, Putney, 

Davies, Timothy, Pantycelyn, Oakhill Road, Putney, S.W. 
Davies, Thomas, J.P., 28, Balliol Road, Bootle, Liverpool. 
Davies, Thomas, Jubilee House, Hebron, R.S.O., South 

Davies, Thomas, 22, London Road, Southwark, S.E. 
Davies, W. Cadwaladr, B.A., 3, Brick Court, Temple, E.C. 
Davies, W. H., Chronicle Office, Chester. 
Davies, W. Rees, 4, King's Bench Walk, Temple, E.C. 
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Davis, R. 0., J.P., Grasgarth, Acton, W. 
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Duncan, David, J.P., Penarth, Cardiff. 

Edmunds, Llewelyn, 7, Coleridge Road, Crouch End, N. 

Edwards, Professor Ellis, The Theological College, Bala. 

Edwards, Frank, The Cottage, Knighton. 

Edwards, H. Powell, M.A., 18, Cleveland Square, W. 

Edwards, Owen, C.C., 1, Arthur Street West, E.G. 

Edwards, Owen M., M.A., Fellow of Lincoln College, 

Edwards, Rev. T. C, M.A., D.D., Principal of the Theo- 
logical College, Bala. 

Edwards, Rev. T. C. (Gynonfardd), D.D., Kingston, Pa. 

Edwards, William, M.A., H.M. Inspector of Schools, 
Courtland House, Merthyr Tydfil. 

Ellis, Rev. Griffith, M.A., 10, Pembroke Road, Bootle, 

b 2 

Ellis, Thomas E., M.P., Cynlas, Llandderfel, Corwen. 
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Evans, Alfred, 1, Lavender Hill, S.W. 
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Evans, Sir David, K.C.M.G., Ewell Grove, Êwell, Surrey. 
Evans, David, J.P., Llangennech Park, Carmarthenshire. 
Evans, D. Einlyn, Cemmes, Mont. 

Evans, D. H., 10, Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W. 
Evans, D. R., 21, The Chase, Clapham Common, S.W. 
Evans, E. Vincent, 27, Alwyne Boad, N. (Secretary). 
Evans, Gwilym, F.C.S., C.C., Westva, Llanelly, Car- 
Evans, Henry Jones, Greenhill, Whitchurch, near Cardiff. 
Evans, Humphrey, The Myrtles, 9, Parleigh Road, Stoke 

Evans, J. Gwenogfryn, M.A., 7, Clarendon Villas, Oxford. 
Evans, Rev. John, Eglwys Bach, Pontypridd (deceased). 
Evans, Rev. Owen, M.A. (The Warden of Llandovery), The 

College, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire. 
Evans, Pepyat W., 6, King's Bench Walk, Temple, E.C. 
Evans, Samuel, P. 0. Box 1602, Johannesburg. 
Evans, Rev. Canon Silvan, B.D., Llanwrin Rectory, 

Evans, Stephen, J.P., 6, Wickham Gardens, Brockley, S.E. 

{Ghairman of Council), 
Evans, Tom LI., Kensington Place, Maindee, Newport, Mon. 
Evans, T. J., 90, St. Paul's Road, Canonbury, N. 
Evans, T. W., 63, Fellows Road, Hampstead, N.W. 
Evans, His Honour Judge William, M.A., 3, Essex Court, 

Temple, E.C. 
Evans, William, Penvro, Hendon, N.W. 
Evans- Vaughan, Charles, F.R.I.B.A., 25, Lowther Arcade, 

Charing Cross, S.W. 

Fisher, Rev. John, B.D., Ruthin. 
Foulkes, Isaac, 8, Paradise Street, Liverpool. 
Foulkes-Jones, J. W., 7, Acacia Place, St. John's Wood, N.W. 
Foulkes-Jones,L., Chorley House, Bloomsbury Square, W.C. 
Francis, Miss Beata, 101, Park Street, Grosvenor Square. 
Francis, John, J.P., D.L., Shirley Lodge, Queen's Road, 

Clapham Park, S.W. 
Francis, John, Myrtle Hill, Carmarthen. 
Fuller-Maitland, Wm., Stansted Hall, Bishop's Stortford. 
Fulton, Andrew, Ivy House, Park Place, Cardiff. 


Gaidoz, Professor Henri, 22, Eue Servandoni, Paris {Hon.) 

Gilbert, T. H., 129, Cheapside, B.C. 

Glascodine, Chas. H., Cae Pare, Swansea. 

Griffith, Rev. Daniel, Llangranog Rectory, Llandyssul. 

Griffith, Ellis J., M.P., 3, King's Bench Walk, Temple, B.C. 

Griffith, J. Lloyd, M.A., Fron-dêg, Holyhead. 

Griffith, Joseph, I).Sc.,16, Trumpington Street, Cambridge. 

Griffith, Hon. Sir Samuel W., K.C.M.G., Merthyr, Bris- 
bane, Queensland (Honorary). 

Griffith, W., M.D., Temperance Hospital, Hampstead 
Road, N.W. 

Griffith, Wm., North Wales District Auditor, Bangor. 

Griffith, Wm., M.B., F.G.S., Coolgardie, Western Aus- 
tralia (and Waterloo Hotel, Aberystwyth). 

Griffiths, The Ven. Archdeacon, B.D., The Rectory, Neath 

Griffiths, Evan, 42, King's Road, Chelsea, S.W. 

Griffiths, George, J.P., Glendower, 24, Fitz John's Avenue, 

Griffiths, John, 146, New Bond Street, W. 

Grove, Alderman Edwin, Brendon^ Stow Park, Newport, 

Ouildhall Library of the Corporation of London, Guildhall, 
B.C. (Charles Welch, F.S.A., Librarian), 

Gwynne, Rev. Robert, M.A., St. Mary's Vicarage, Charing 
Cross Road, W.C. 

Gwynne-Hughes, Colonel W., Glancothy, Nantcaredig, 
R.S.O., Carmarthenshire. 

Gwyther, J. Howard, Chartered Bank of India, Hatton 
Court, Threadneedle Street, B.C. 

Harries, T. J., 264, Oxford Street, W. 

Hartland, B. Sidney, Highgarth, Gloucester. 

Hartwell-Jones, Rev. G., M.A., The Rectory, Nutfield. 

Herkomer, Prof. Hubert, R.A., Lululaund, Bushey, Herts. 

Hicks, Henry, M.D., Hendon Grove, Hendon, N.W. 

Hills-Johnes, Lieut.-General Sir James, G.C.B., V.C., 
Dolau Cothi, Llanwrda R.S.O., Carmarthenshire. 

Holman, Mrs., 1, CoUingham Road, S.W. 

Howell, The Very Rev. Dean, B.D., The Deanery, St. 
David's R.S.O. 

Howell, Charles E., Rhiewport, Berriew, Mont. 

Howell, H. Llewelyn, 121, Canfield Gardens, West Hamp- 
stead, N.W. 


Howell, W. Tudor, M.P., 7, King's Bench Walk, Temple, 

Hudson, Eobert A., 13, Dean's Yard, Westminster, S.W. 
Hughes, Alfred W., M.B., King's College, Strand, W.C. 
Hughes, Arthur, 3, Pump Court, Temple, B.C. 
Hughes, Bdward A., 43, Campden House Road, Kensing- 
ton, W. 
Hughes, Miss B. P., Cambridge Teachers' College, 

Hughes, H. R. (L(yrd Lieutenant of the County of Flint), 

Kinmel Park, Abergele, Denbighshire. 
Hughes, John, 11, Nevem Square, S.W. 
Hughes, Mrs., 11, Nevern Square, S.W. 
Hughes, John, C.C., 16, Finsbury Circus, B.C. (deceased). 
Hughes, Rev. J. Biias, M.A., 10, Canonbury Park North, N. 
Hughes, R. B. (H.M. Inspector of Schools), Tan-y-Bryn, 

Cefn Coed, Merthyr-Tydfil. 
Hughes, T. R., 30, Coal Bxchange, Scranton, Pa., U.S.A. 
Hughes, Rev. W. Hawker, M.A., Fellow of Jesus College, 

Hughes, W., 21, Mincing Lane, B.C. 
Humphreys, John, WyndclifBe House, Forest Road, 

Dalston, B. 
Hunter, Colonel, F.R.S., F.S.A. (Scot.), Plas Coch, 

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey. 
Hutcheson, Mrs. M. L., Glanynys, Aberdare. 

Idris, T. H. W., J.P., Pratt Street, Camden Town, N.W. 

James, Miss Mary, Lower Norwood, S.B. 
James, Charles H., 8, Courtland Terrace, Merthyr Tydvil. 
James, C. Russell, Courtland House, Merthyr Tydvil. 
James, Frank T., Pen-y-Darren House, Merthyr Tydvil. 
James, Gwilym C., Gwaelod-y-Garth, Merthyr Tydvil. 
James, Ivor (Registrar of the University of Wales), Town 

Hall Chambers, Newport, Mon. 
James, J. T., M.D., 30, Harley Street, W. 
James, W. P., The Lindens, Cardiff. 
Jenkins, Sir J. Jones, M.P., The Grange, Swansea. 
Jenkins, R. Henry, Ogmore House, Church Bnd, Finchley, N. 
Jenkins, Thomas, J.P., The Friary, Carmarthen. 
Jersey, The Right Hon. the Barl of, Middleton Park, 

Bicester, Oxon. 
Jesv^ College Library, Oxford. 


John, Edward T., Llwyn Onn, Grove Hill, Middlesborough. 
John, W. Groscombe, 2, Woronzow Studios, Woronzow 

Eoad, St. John's Wood, N.W. 
Jones, Miss Anne, 19, St. John's Road, Brixton, S.W. 
Jones, Rev. David, M.A., Llangerniew Rectory, Abergele. 
Jones, David, 10, Hanover Square, W. 
Jones, David, 62, Farringdon Street, E.C. 
Jones, D. Brjnmor, Q.C., M.P., Devonshire Club, S.W., 

and 27, Bryanston Square, W. 
Jones, D. B., 113, Balfour Road, Highbury New Park, N. 
Jones, Edwin, Atherstone House, Atkins Road, Clapham 

Park, S.W. 
Jones, Evan, F.R.C.S., Ty Mawr, Aberdare, Glamorgan. 
Jones, Major Evan R., Effingham House, Arundel St., Strand. 
Jones, Griffith, 1, Mitre Court Buildings, Temple, E.C. 
Jones, Griffith E., Nant Peris, Carnarvon. 
Jones, Harry, Western Daily Mercury, Plymouth. 
Jones, Henry Lewis, M.D., 9, Upper Wimpole Street, W. 
Jones, H. Sydney, 30, Elm Grove, Hammersmith, W. 
Jones, Herbert, 5, Mandeville Place, W. 
Jones, Hugh R., M.D., Holly Bank, Gurston, Liverpool. 
Jones, James, Surveyor's Office, Custom House, Glasgow. 
Jones, Rev. Jenkin Lloyd, Chicago, U.S.A. 
Jones, Rev. John, Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd, Ruthin. 
Jones, John, 36, Newport Road, Cardiff. 
Joues, John, J.P., Central Buildings, Llandudno. 
Jones, J. Thomas, M.D., 179, Brixion Road, S.W. 
Jones, J. Viriamu, M.A., B.Sc. {Principal of ths University 

College of South Wales and Monmouthshire), 10 St. 

Andrew's Crescent, Cardiff. 
Jones, Luis, Plâs-Hêdd, Chubut, Patagonia, South America. 
Jones, Rev. Maurice, B.A., Chaplain to Her Majesty^ s Forces^ 

Jones, M. O., Treherbert, Pontypridd, Glamorganshire. 
Jones, Rees, Landore, Swansea, Glamorganshire. 
Jones, General R. Owen, R.E., C.B., 1, Knaresborough 

Place, S.W. 
Jones, R. O., 43, Compton Road, Canonbury, N. 
Jones, Robert, 62, Farringdon Street, E.C. 
Jones, T. Artemus, 1, Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C. 
Jones, T. Hamer, 29, Philbeach Gardens, S.W. 
Jones, Thomas, C.E., 1 Princes' Street, Great George 

Street, Westminster, S.W. 
Jones, Thomas {Cynhaiarn), Portmadoc, Carnarvonshire. 




JoneSy Thomas, 2, Cljtha Square, Newport, Hon. 

Jone^, ThoB. D., 36, Essex Street, Strand, W.C. 

Jones, Thomas H. {Odnant), 6, West Side, Public Square, 

Lima, Allen Coimty, Ohio, U.S.A. 
Jones, T. E., 211, PiccadiUy, W. 

Jones, T. Ridge, M.D., 4, Chesham Place, Belgrave Sq., S.W. 
Jones, T. Roberts, 47, Kennington Park Road, S.E. 
Jones, William, M.P., House of Commons, S.W. 
Jones, W. J., 47, Mark Lane, E.C. 
Jones, Wm., The W. J. Printing Works, Golden Lane^ E.C. 

Jones, W. Owen, The Downs, Bowdon, Manchester 
Jones, William, Garth-isaf, Arthog, Dolgelly, Merioneth- 
Jones, William, Somerleigh, St. Margaret's, Twickenham. 
Jones, W. H., National Provincial Bank of England, 

Jones, Professor W. Lewis, University College, Bangor. 
Jones, W. P., The Manor House, Pinchley, S". 
Jones, Mrs. W. P., The Manor House, Pinchley, N. 
Joseph, Miss Meta, 14a, Clapham Mansions, Nightingale 

Lane, S.W. 
Josephs, Mrs. Arthur L., Roseneath, Broxbourne, Herts 

Jubainville, Professor d'Arbois de, 84, Boulevard Mont- 

pamasse, Paris. 

Kensington, The Right Hon. Lord, St. Bride, Little 
Haven R.S.O., Pembrokeshire. 

Kenyon, The Right Hon. Lord, Gredington, near Whit- 
church, Salop. 

Kenyon, The Hon. G. T.^ Llanerch Panna, Ellesmere. 

Knowles, Edward R., Grosvenor Road, Chester. 

Laws, Edward, F.S.A., Brython Place, Tenby. 

Leighton, Stanley, M.P., Sweeney HaU^ Oswestry. 

Leslie, Mrs. Henry, Bryn Tanat, Llansantffraid R.S.O., 

Lewis, The Rev. Canon, The Vicarage, St. David's R.S.O. 
Lewis, Arthur G. P., 13, Castle Street, Cardiff. 
Lewis, Professsor D. Morgan, University College of Wales, 

Lewis, David Rees, Plâs Pen-y- Darren, Merthyr Tydfil. 
Lewis, Douglas E., Newport Road, Cardiff. 


Lewis, Rev. H. Elvet, Llanelly. 

Lewis, His Honour Judge, 7, Kilvey Terrace, Swansea 

Lewis, J. Herbert, M.P., Pen-ucha', Caerwys, Flintshire. 

Lewis, John T., 63, Chancery Lane, W.C. 

Lewis, Owen (Owain Byfed), Hampden Villa, St. Briavels, 
Coleford, Gloucestershire. 

Lewis, Robert, 62, Grreen Street, Grosvenor Square, W. 

Lewis, Samuel, The Golden Key, Porthcawl, Glamorgan. 

Lewis, Sir W. Thomas, Bart., The Mardy, Aberdare, 
Glamorganshire . 

Llewelyn, Sir John T. D., Bart., M.P., 39, Cornwall 
Gardens, S. W. 

Liverpool Free Pvhlic Library (P. Cowell, Librarian) ^ Wil- 
Kam Brown Street, Liverpool. 

Llandaflf, The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of, the Palace, 
Llandaff, Glamorganshire. 

Llandaff, The Very Rev. The Dean of. The Deanery, 
Llandaff (deceased). 

Lloyd, Edward O. Vaughan, J.P., Rhaggatt, Corwen, Mer- 

Lloyd, Prof essor John E., M.A., University College, Bangor. 

Lloyd, Rev. J. T., P.O. Box 187, Johannesburg, South 

Lloyd, Sir Marteine O. M., Bart., Bronwydd, Llandyssul. 

Lloyd, Thomas, 450, Oxford Street, W. 

Lloyd-Claydon, Mrs., 87, Cadogan Gardens, S.W. 

Lloyd-George, D., M.P., Brynawelon, Criccieth. 

Lloyd-Owen, D. C, F.R.C.S., 51, New HaU Street, Bir- 

Lloyd-Roberts, H., l,Pump Court, Temple, E.C. {Treasurer) . 

Loth, M. Joseph (Doyen à la Faculte des Lettres de Rennesjy 
74, Route de Redon, Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France. 

Mackinnon, Donald, M.A. (Professor of Celtic Languages, 
History, Literature, and Antiquities in the University 
of Edinburgh, 1, Merchiston Place, Edinburgh (Hon.) 

Maddock, James, 109, Dock Street, Newport, Mon. 

Maiichester Free Reference Library (Charles W. Sutton, 
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Marks, Alfred T. D., B.A., Plâs-Myrddin, Llandudno. 

Marks, B. S., 32, Victoria Street, S.W. 

Marks, G^o. Croydon, 18, Southampton Buildings, W.C. 

Marks, James J., M.A., LL.B., Llandudno. 


Marks, T. T., C.E., Plâs-Myrddin, Llandudno. 

Marpole, D. W., 47, Chancery Lane, W.C. 

Martin, Edward P., J.P., Dowlais, Glamorganshire. 

Martin, Alderman, Birchgrore, Swansea. 

Milbank, Powlett C, M.P., Norton Manor, Presteign. 

Miller, Arthur W. K., M.A., British Museum, W.C. 

Mills, Llewelyn A., 7, Beacon Hill, N. 

Mills, Miss Marion A., 7, Beacon Hill, N. 

Mills, Miss M. Elaine, Llantwit Boad, Neath. 

Mills, E. M., 78, Mornington Bk)ad, Eegent's Park, N.W. 

Morgan, David, Newlands, Crescent !Boad, Crouch End, N. 

Morgan, D. T., Fairfield House, Merthyr-Tydfil. 

Morgan, Edward, Machynlleth, Montgomeryshire. 

Morgan, Henry, 34, Tavistock Place, W.C. 

Morgan, Octavius V., J.P., 15, The Boltons, Brompton, 

S.W. (deceased), 
Morgan, Sir Walter, Athenaeum Club, S.W. 
Morgan, Alderman Walter H., Forest House, Pontypridd. 
Morgan, Lieut.-Col. W. Llewelyn, Brynbriallu, Swansea. 
Morgan, Alderman W. Vaughan, Christ's Hospital, E.C. 
Morley, Charles, M.P., 46, Bryanston Square, W. 
Morris, John, 33, Parkfield Road, Dingle, Liverpool. 
Morris, J. Pugh, 46, Edwardes Square, Kensington, W. 
Morris, Sir Lewis, Penbryn, Carmarthen. 
Morris, Thos. E., B.A., LL.M., 2, Brick Court, Temple. 
Mostyn, The Right Hon. Lord, Mostyn Hall, Holywell, 

Mostyn, The Right Rev. Francis, D.D. (Vicar Apostolic of 

Wales), St. Mary's, Wrexham. 

Nettlau, Dr. Max, Rennweg, No. 2, Vienna III (Honorary) . 

Newell, Rev. E. J., M.A., The College, Porthcawl, 

Newport, The Free Library of the Corporation of, New- 
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Nutt, Alfred, 270, Strand, W.C. 

Oliver, Alfred, 94, Wigmore Street, W. 

Oliver, William, 28, Gordon Square, W.C. 

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Owen, C. Maynard, B.A., LL.M., 11, Victoria Street, S.W. 
Owen, Edward, India Office, Whitehall, S.W. 
Owen, Edward Humphrey, F.S.A., Ty Coch, Carnarvon. 


Owen, G. Leader, LL.B., J.P., D.L., Withybush, Haver- 

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Owen, His Honour Judge, Ty-Gwyn, Abergavenny, Mon. 

Owen, Sir Hugh, K.C.B., Local Government Board, 
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Owen, Isambard, M.D., M. A., 40, Curzon Street, Mayf air, W. 

Owen, Lancaster, 26, Cornwall Gardens, S.W. 

Owen, Thomas, M.P., Henley Grove, Westbury-on-Trym. 

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Owen, William, The Elms, Castle Bar Hill, Ealing, W. 

Owens, John, Llandinam, Mont. 

Palgrave Francis T., 15, Cranley Place, Onslow Square, 

S.W. {deceobsed). 
Palmer, Alfred N., F.S.A., 17, BershamRoad, Wrexham. 
Parry, His Honour Judge E. A., Holland House, Witting- 

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Parry, Edward, M.E., Elmhurst,Lucknow Drive, Nottingham 
Parry, Rev. John, M.A., The Vicarage, Bromley-by-Bow, E. 
Parry, Rev. John, M. A., The Hayes, Northfield, Birmingham. 
Parry, Tom, Professor of Agriculture, University College, 

Parry, William, 46, Coltart Road, Liverpool. 
Parry, W. J., F.C.A., Coetmor Hall, Bethesda, Bangor. 
Payne, William, J.P., Woodleigh, The Thicket, Southsea. 
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Penrhyn, The Right Hon. Lord, Penrhyn Castle, Bangor. 
Philipps, Sir Charles E. G., Bart., Picton Castle, Haver- 
Philipps, Capt. F. L. Lloyd, Penty Park, Clarbeston Road, 

R.S.O., Pembrokeshire. 
Philipps, Mrs. Nora Wynford, 24, Queen Anne's Gate, S.W. 
Philipps, J. Wynford, M.P., 24, Queen Anne's Gate, S.W. 
Philipps, Owen C, J.P., 44, Park Lane, W. 
Phillimore, Admiral Sir Augustus, K.C.B., Shedfield 

House, Botley, Hants {deceased), 
Phillimore, Egerton, M.A., 26, Great Ormond Street, W.C. 

Phillimore, The Hon. Sir Walter G. F., Bart., D.C.L., 

86, Eaton Place, S.W. 
Phillips, G. Jason, 10, St. Giles' Street, Northampton. 
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Phillips, Rev. Jaanee, Dew Street, Haverfordwest. 

PhiUipB, Profesöor R. W., M.A., B.Sc, UniTersitj College, 

PhUlipa, Rev. T. Lloyd, M.A., F.S.A., 9, Park Road, 

Philpott, H. J. Vernon, Butcher's Hall, Bartholomew 
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Pierce, EUis (Ellis o'r Nant), Dolyddelen R.8.O., Car- 

Plews, John, Barrister-at-Law, Merthyr Tydfil. 

Poole, Henry R., Beaumaris, Anglesey. 

Fopham, Mrs. Cecil, Plas Maenan, Llanrwst. 

Powel, H. Powel, Castle Madoc, Brecon. 

Powel, Thomas, M.A. {Professor of Celtic in the University 
College of South Wales and Momnouthekire), uni- 
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Powis, The Right Hon. The Earl of, Powis Ca«tle, 

Powis-Jones, W., Sun Insurance Office, Threadneedle Street, 

Preece, Ẁ. H., C.B., F.R.8., Gothic Lodge, Wimbledon. 

Price, Hamilton, 34, The Grove, Boltons, S.W. 

Price, J. Arthur, M.A., 14, Old Square, Lincohi's Inn, W.C. 

Price, Reea G., M.D., Carmarthen. 

Price, Roger, 46, Partridge Road, Cardiff. 

Prichard-Jones, J., Lome Hoiwe, Greeneroft Gardens, 

West Hampstead, N.W. 
Pritchard, Thomas, Llwydiarth Esgoh, Llanerch-y-Medd. 
Piitcliard-Morgan, W., M.P., 1, Queen Victoria Street, E.G. 
Pritdiard,Owen,M.D., 41, Gloucester Square, W. 
Pritchard, R. H., M.A., The Cottage, Bangor. 
Propert, J. Lumsden, 112, Gloucester Place, Portman 

Square, W. 
Prust, Major Charles B., 167, Holland Road,KenBÌngton,W. 
Pryce, Thos. Edward, F.R.I.B.A., 10, Gray's Inn Sq., W.C. 
Pryce, The Ven. Archdeacon, M.A., Trefdraeth Rectory, 

Llangefni, Anglesey, 
Prjce-Jones, Sir Pryce, Dolerw, Newtown, Mont. 
Pryee-Jones, Major Edw., M.P., Newtown Hall, Mont. 
Pugh, J. W., M.D., 3, Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton. 
Puglie, The Hon. Lewis, Scranton, Pa., TJ.S.A, 
Puleston, Sir John H., 2, WhitehaU Court, S.W. 

Quariteh, Bernard, 15, Piccadilly, W. 


RadcKffe, Henry, J.P., 4, Dock Chambers, CardifiE. 

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Bandell, David, M.P., Llanelly, Carmarthenshire. 

Rathbone, William, 18, Princes Gardens, S.W. 

Beed, Sir Edward J., K.C.B., Broadway Chambers, 

Westminster, S.W. 
Rees, Griffith, 58, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead. 
Rees, Jas.D.,BrynHaulog, Grove Park, Denmark Hill, S.E. 
Rees, J. Rogers, Winterboume, Penarth, Glamorganshire. 
Rees, Rowland, 24, Watling Street, E.C. 
Reichel, Henry R., M.A., (Principal of the University 

College of North Wales) ^ Bangor. 
Reynolds, Llywarch, B.A., Old Church Place, Merthyr 

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Gaelic Union for the Preservation and Cultivation of the Irish 
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tary, 10, Kildare Street, Dublin. 

Ha/milton Association : Greorge Dickson, Corresponding 
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National Eisteddfod Association: T. Marchant Williams, 
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and 19, John Street, Adelphi, W.C. 

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Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natwral History: J. 
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^onoutaBCé ^ociH^ of Cj^mmtrobovton* 

SESSION 1896-97. 




A FEW years ago I had the honour of reading, before the 
members of this Society, a paper on the same subject as 
that which I now offer to your attention. I then laid 
stress upon the importance of promoting the study of 
instrumental music in Wales. This attracted a great deal 
of attention, and some steps were taken towards the 
establishment of a National Musical Association, charged 
with the task of organising the resources of the Princi- 
pality, with a view to widen and deepen its musical 
culture. The attempt came to nothing. Its energy soon 
faded away, and matters reverted to their former state. I 
shall not take up any of your time with speculations as to 
the reason of this collapse, since it is more important to 
look present facts in the face, and consider what may now 
be done — in a different manner, perhaps, but with the 
old object in view. 

^ Paper read before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion at No. 
20, Hanover Square, on Thursday, the 14th of January, 1897 ; Chairman, 
Mr. John Thomas (Pencerdd Owalia)^ Harpist to Her Majesty the Queen. 


In the paper to which reference has been made^ I, while 
advocating the establishment of a National Musical As- 
sociation, recognised the value of the Eisteddfod as an 
agent in promoting musical culture. On this occasion, a 
separate and independent organisation being apparently 
impossible. I shall ask you to consider with me whether 
Eisteddfodic procedure can be better adapted than it is to 
meet the needs of the time. 

On the face of it, and having regard to the conditions 
of modem progress, we are encouraged to conclude, even 
without investigation, that usages which have remained 
unchanged for many years must needs, in an age of 
advance, have fallen behind. My acquaintance with the 
Eisteddfod in its musical aspect extends over thirty years, 
and I am bound to say that its procedure now is — unless 
memory has played me a sorry trick — ^pretty much what 
it was in 1867. There are the same competitions, on the 
same subjects, and carried on under the same conditions. 
Meanwhile the needs of the art, as a popular study, have 
greatly increased, its standards have been everywhere 
raised, and its methods, as well as the principles upon 
which the methods are based, have changed. Is the old 
machinery capable, as it now stands, of dealing with so 
much that is new in material ? General experience makes 
us pause before answering this question in the affirmative. 
It points, indeed, with resolute finger, to a negative reply. 

I have good reason to believe that the need of reform 
is widely felt among Welshmen of education and culture. 
Many letters have reached me from such persons, all of 
them expressing a more or less earnest conviction that the 
musical section of the Eisteddfod should be made to do 
better work than at present, and that both the character 
and method of its competitions are capable of great im- 


If I may take this as indicating a growing opinion among 
the leaders of Welsh thought, the prospect is distinctly 
bright. In some cases, however, I hear a note not so 
much of reform as of revolution. The whole system of 
competition is now and then denounced, and I know at 
least one efficient choir in Wales which resolutely abstains 
from it, believing that more good is done by careful 
practice of choice music with a view to concert-giving. 
My own opinion is that competition is a very valuable 
feature in the musical procedure of Wales. We do with- 
out it almost entirely in England^ and, on the whole, 
prosper without it, but consider how different are the 
circumstances. In Wales the competitive system is that 
upon which the educational influence of its most venerable 
institution is based. The Welsh people delight in it, as 
all who have attended an Eisteddfod well know, and I 
have yet to discover signs that they would be likely to give 
it up imder any conceivable circumstances. For good or 
for evil. Eisteddfod music is competitive music, and so it 
will remain. Why should it not be altogether for good? 
If there be a weak point, strengthen it ; if the machinery 
creak and jar, carefully oil the bearings ; if any part of it 
seem Ul-adapted to new requirements, take it away, and 
replace with better. This, as it seems to me, is the safest 
course, because the most progressive within the limits of a 
wise conservatism. 

Here I reach a very practical consideration, and the first 
suggestion which I have to offer. 

I have not hastily formed an opinion that the constitu- 
tion of the Eisteddfod, in its musical section, is defective 
as regards the power which controls it. 

When the highest authority of the institution has 
chosen a place of meeting, all musical arrangements are, 
as I understand it, left in the hands of a local Committee, 

B 2 


made up of more or less influential persons, known to 
have sympathy with the art, and, in many cases, to possess 
some knowledge of it. No one exceeds myself in admira- 
tion of the zeal and devotion which the musical committees 
of the Eisteddfod bring to their work. All praise to them 
for what they have done in the past, and what they are 
still doing with, if possible, augmenting earnestness. But, 
for the most part, the members are persons engaged in 
business, whose acquaintance with musical necessities is 
limited, perhaps, to those of their own immediate 
neighbourhood, and who in few cases, I imagine, keep 
touch with the general advance of music. This being so, 
the more conscientious a committee is, the more it is 
likely to distrust its own initiative, and the more disposed 
to fashion its procedure upon the usage of the past. May 
not this explain — ^to some extent at any rate — ^the un- 
enterprising, almost changeless character of musical 
doings on the Eisteddfod platform? I have reason to 
believe that the Committees themselves often feel the 
disadvantage under which they labour, and it is not an 
uncommon thing for members to seek advice from persons 
who, as they suppose, are qualified to give it. 

What can be done in this matter ? Nothing, I venture 
to say, that shall deprive the local Committee of its power 
and responsibility. That body must still be supreme, but 
it may be counselled, and my suggestion is that the 
National Eisteddfod Association should appoint a distinct 
and independent advisory board, made up of persons in 
Wales and England whose musical knowledge and ability 
command general respect. This Board should simply act 
as " honorary standing counsel'', giving its advice when the 
local Committee asks for it, and at such times and places 
as may be convenient. The Committee of 1899, for 
example, might meet the Advisory Board at the Eisteddfod 


of 1898 and there discuss with them plans and projects. 
This reform, be it observed, would displace no authority, 
and create none. It would simply bring to the executive 
body all the experience and wisdom of experts and place 
it at their disposal. I am very sure that Committees are 
ready to take advice, and a case in point, to which I shall 
refer presently, came under my observation only the other 
day. A body somewhat like that suggested above does al- 
ready exist, I am informed, but I am not sufficiently 
acquainted with its constitution to be able to say how 
far it meets my idea. 

I pass on to another matter — a somewhat delicate one, 
because it touches, on one side, the amenities of com- 
petition. Dealing with this, it shall be my earnest 
endeavour to avoid offence, and my resolute purpose to 
speak with plainness and directness. 

When attending musical competitions in Wales, I have 
often had to notice the curiously strong, not to say bitter,, 
feeling they excite. Welshmen are generally credited 
with keen susceptibility and quick tempers, but, assuming 
the truth of this, and making allowance for it, there 
remains much feeling not accounted for. We must not, 
of course, expect the calmness of a philosopher from the 
average man who is smarting under defeat. In most 
cases he will relieve his mind somehow, and, as a rule, he 
does it by putting forward evidence to prove that he has 
been beaten through the operation of causes beyond his 
own control. But it too often happens that an un- 
successful Welsh choir will adopt the ethics of some 
football crowds and "take it out of the adjudicators. 
The ridiculous absurdity of this course never seems to be 
perceived — ^for ridiculous absurdity it is when a com- 
petitor accepts a judge before the verdict, and repudiates 
him after it. I have met with various grotesque cases in 


the course of my Eisteddf odic experience, but will mention 
only the recent conduct of a well-known choir, which 
declined to sing before certain adjudicators on the plea 
that, at a meeting held not long before, when the choir 
was unsuccessful, those gentlemen and their colleagues 
refused a detailed statement of the reasons which led to 
their decision. Nobody, I imagine, disputes the right 
of a choir to accept or reject an adjudicator, or, having 
rejected him, to keep its motive to itself. But when a 
cause is assigned, let it at any rate be adequate ; let there 
be some force in it ; let it show, on the face of it, some 
sort of ground for an action of gravity. I will not dwell 
further on this point. It is notorious that Eisteddfodic 
contests are often a source of bitterness and ill-will. 

How can this arise out of a peaceful competition in the 
harmonious region of music ? A competition taking place 
among bodies of men and women who are supposed to be 
one in love of their art, and in agreement that reward 
properly belongs to highest excellence, wherever it may 
appear. Other elements must enter into the case, grosser 
in character and appealing to lower instincts. What are 
they? I cannot take upon myself to answer positively, 
but in this connexion I should like to see a change in the 
form and character of Eisteddfod prizes. Some of these 
prizes, especially at the national meetings, are of con- 
siderable value, rising as high as £200, which goes in the 
form of money to the winning choir. It is a sum large 
enough to arouse cupidity ; to invest a contest with some- 
thing like the excitement of gambling for a high stake, 
and to make its loss felt far more keenly than failure in 
point of musical merit. Those of us who know anything 
of humao nature cannot but incline to the belief that 
were money prizes abolished, large sums especially, both 
competitions and competitors would gain in all qualities 


that make not only for peace and good-will but for 
dignity and manliness. 

I am expected, no doubt, to show a better way of 
rewarding merit. In that, as it seems to me, there is no 
difficulty. An ideal arrangement might be brought back 
from the far-away past of ancient Greece, and we might 
offer to crown successful competitors with a wreath of 
wild parsley. It is not likely, however, that they would 
* appreciate the honours which satisfied the most cultured 
people the world has ever known. Nothing if not 
practical in this paper, I suggest that Wales and her 
sympathisers should provide a national challenge trophy, 
to be competed for each year, like the Elcho Shield, and, 
by the winning choir in the great choral struggle, to be 
handed over, with all convenient pomp and ceremony to 
the custody of the Mayor, or other local authority, of the 
place from which the successful competitors come. In 
addition to this the costs out of pocket of the winning 
choir should be paid by the Eisteddfod committee. By an 
arrangement of this kind there would be no pecuniary 
loss, and plenty of honourable distinction, which should 
satisfy every reasonable man. 

1 would carry the same process through the whole 
range of minor prizes, eliminating the money element, and 
offering equivalent rewards in scholarships, free private 
instruction, instruments, and volumes of music, etc. 
Every prize would thus be not only a personal reward 
and recognition, but a means of working up to higher 
excellence, instead of melting in the hand of the recipient 
and leaving nothing behind. 

It may be said — ^probably it will be said — ^that an 
Eisteddfod worked upon the plan just laid down would 
find itself without musical competitors. I do not think so 
badly of Welsh amateurs as to believe anything of the 


kind. It may be that some sordid souls would seek a cave 
of Adullam and retire into it grumbling, but the vast 
majority would appreciate the healthiness of the change, 
and fresh adherents would, no doubt, come forward, 
attracted by the enhanced dignity of Eisteddfod procedure. 
If, however, it should turn out that Welsh musical 
competitors are mere cheque-hunters, using their art as 
a means to the end of material gain, knowledge of so 
portentous a fact seems to me worth buying at considerable ' 
sacrifice. Loss sustained in a process of disillusion is 
often really an excellent investment. 

I turn to another matter — one of purely musical im- 
portance, and on that account, perhaps, to be considered 
the most earnestly. 


From communications I have received, both through 
speech and in writing, I gather that some dissatisfaction 
exists with, the present method of selecting music for 
study, particularly in the choral competitions. The rule 
is to choose two or three pieces — a chorus, a part song, 
and so on — and virtually ask the competitors to concentrate 
their energies within that limited area, during many 
months of the year. I can imagine no more wasteful and 
extravagant plan, and I am prepared to dispute its alleged 
value at every point. 

Mark, in the first place, how it tends to limit musical 
knowledge, which, under another method of procedure, 
might be extended year by year in a material degree. 
How much the better is a choir which has spent six 
months in getting up a chorus and a part song ? 

It is something the better, no doubt, because all know- 
ledge is good, even a small amount of it, and, of course, 
the two or three chosen pieces serve as texts for lessons in 
vocal skill. But consider the waste involved. I declare 
to you that when the great choirs which competed at 


Llandudno came^ one after the other, upon the platform^ 
each with its three pieces of music^ the knowledge that so 
much time^ energy^ and skilly had been expended compara- 
tiyelj to so little purpose made me profoundly sad. Some- 
thing more than waste of time and opportunity results 
from the present system. Imagine the deadening effect 
of constant working at two or three pieces ; the liability 
to come up for the struggle in the condition known among 
sporting people as « stale ", and the temptation which 
conductors must feel to vary the monotony of practice by 
fancy readings, and an excess of what may be described as 
mechanical devices! My suggestion as to a remedy for 
all this is not now put forward for the first time, inasmuch 
as it had the honour of bein^ discussed at a meeting of 
this Society held in Llandudno last year. 

Now, as then, I propose that musical committees should 
name a complete work of convenient dimensions, but 
always of high character ; all the choral numbers in that 
work to be prepared by the competing choirs, and the 
adjudicators to declare, just before the contest, what 
selections from them they wish to hear performed. The 
advantages of such a plan seem to me strikingly obvious. 
Li the first plftce, the choirs engaged would master the 
concerted music of a complete composition and be ready 
to take part in its performance, either at a concert of their 
own, or in the service of the Eisteddfod. That is a dis- 
tinct gain as compared with knowledge of mere fragments, 
or of such comparatively insignificant things as part songs. 
In the next place, the choirs, having a larger, and more 
varied task by way of preparation, would find increased 
interest in their training. Moreover — and this is a point 
of the greatest importance — ^the plan I advocate would 
break through one of the limitations which belong, as I 
conceive, to Eisteddf odic procedure. 


I am happy to know that, in view of the Eisteddfod at 
Festiniog next year, the musical committee have yirtually 
decided upon adopting the suggestion now made, and this 
is the case to which I referred just now when dechiring 
my belief that Committees generally would be glad to take 
counsel with competent advisers as regards measures of 
reform and improvement. 

I spoke, a moment ago, of limitations in Eisteddfodic 
procedure, and the matter thus indicated is worthy of 
f uU consideration. At present I can only discuss it briefly, 
beginning with the expression of an opinion that music 
in Wales suffers generally from limitations, which ought 
as promptly as possible to be removed. I will tell you 
exactly what I consider them to be. 

One of those limitations is found in the unduly prepon- 
derating study of vocal music as compared with instru- 
mental. Observe that I say ^^ unduly preponderating". 
Wales is a nation of singers. Singing is, in a special 
degree, the natural expression of Welsh feeling, and there 
is no reason at all why we should seek to rob it of that 
character. But vocal music is only a section of the art 
which everyone of us desires to see flourish as a whole in 
the Principality, and for the completeness of which — for 
the purpose of obtaining from it all the benefits it can 
confer — ^there should be proportionate cultivation of in- 
strumental music. I have laboured this point before, 
others have done the same, and I am right glad to say 
that the beginning of a change for the better is perceptible. 
But it is, as yet, only a small beginning, and progress is 
slow. We must have patience, and not conceal from 
ourselves the fact that there are obstacles in the way. A 
nation is not easily diverted from the old ruts in which it 
has long run smoothly and contentedly. Moreover, the 
study of instrumental music involves dif&culties. In- 


struments are costly; instruction in the use of some of 
them is not always readily obtainable, and opportunities 
of association for combined performance do not every- 
where present themselves. 

The Eisteddfod should help by every means in its 
power. It should offer strong inducements to the study 
of instrumental art — among them the distribution, as 
prizes, of good instruments and good music, with free 
tuition, as far as it may be available. It should, also, take 
care that competent students benefit by any engagements 
which, as a concert-giving institution, the Eisteddfod has 
to offer. In this way something might be done towards 
making possible the fully equipped Welsh orchestras which 
I trust I shall live to see, and to hear which I am prepared 
to journey to the farthest bounds of the Principality. 

Another limitation is connected with the Tonic Sol-fa 
system. Let not my Tonic Sol-fa friends be excited at 
this. I was an early, if not a conspicuous adherent to 
their cause ; in long-past years I taught it as well as I was 
able, and, if circumstances indicated such a course, I 
should be prepared to teach it again. Music-lovers in this 
country owe more to Tonic Sol-fa, as an agent of artistic 
progress among the people at large, than they can ever 

But the system, with its beautiful completeness for vocal 
purposes, and with its easy opening of the doors of the 
temple where music sits enthroned, has the defect of its 
qualities. We must look at Tonic Sol-fa not as at itseK 
alone, but with regard to the universal art. The system, 
after all the good it has done, is but sectional, and sec- 
tional, if one may venture upon prophecy, it will remain. 
But as a first stage towards the higher knowledge and 
culture — ^towards full participation in the universal 
musical life — Tonic Sol-fa is invaluable. 


I fear, however, that the musical people in Wales regard 
the first stage, so easily and pleasantly reached, as satisfy- 
ing all their needs. No musician will agree to that. It 
means incompleteness ; it means that the vast treasures of 
music which have not been, or may not conveniently be, 
translated into the written language of Tonic Sol-fa, must 
remain for ever inaccessible, and it certainly means that 
all who are so content are no wiser than the Welshman 
who, if such there be, remains satisfied with his native 
speech, and refuses to learn the world-wide tongue in 
which I am now addressing you. 

I believe that the promoters of Tonic Sol-fa rejoice as 
much as any of us to see their people carry study into 
what is called the "old notation". They desire this, 
unless I much mistake them, and therefore would en- 
courage any steps taken to excite among their Welsh 
followers a ^^ divine discontent" with what has already 
been accomplished. Here, also, the Eisteddfod can do 
good service, by offering suitable prizes for knowledge 
and skill, especially for excellence in sight-singing, which, 
whether in Tonic Sol-fa or the " old notation ", should be 
encouraged much more than it is. I know that few 
candidates appear when sight-singing is the test, but that 
is an additional reason for keeping the matter within the 
range of public attention. 

If I revert for a moment to the limitation imposed by 
the present choice of works for competition, it is to point 
out that even under the system now in vogue more might 
be done to extend knowledge and taste. Again and again 
are the same choruses and part-songs chosen ; Eisteddfod 
music thus far goes round and round in a narrow circle, 
and there is movement without real progress. 

" Enough is as good as a feast," and I have ventured 
upon a sufficient number of suggestions for one sitting. 
Let me recapitulate them : — 


First, the establishment in connexion with the National 
Eisteddfod, of an Advisory Board, which "inay be con- 
sulted by the local musical committee at pleasure. 

Second, the abolition of money prizes, as far as possible, 
and the substitution in most cases of rewards directly 
musical in their nature. 

Third, the substitution for fragmentary pieces, in choral 
competitions, of an entire choral work, any part of which 
competitors may be called upon to perform. 

Fourth, all possible encouragement of efficiency in 
reading the " old notation ". 

Sixth, steady and constant effort in every way to enlarge 
the scope of musical study by the people. 

I shall not be misunderstood in giving this advice. I 
am not now, for the first time, showing an interest in 
Welsh music, or devoting some hours of a busy life to a 
consideration of the ways and means by which it may be 
improved. My motive must be known, but let me say 
that, as an Englishman, I am not altogether unselfish. 
There is in Wales a rare capacity for serving our common 
country in music. Much of it is undeveloped, and it is to 
the interest of British art generally that the whole should 
be brought under cultivation. Welsh music does not 
belong to Wales alone. We all have a share in it through 
the advantage we gain from its efficiency, and upon this 
fact, as well as upon my keen sympathy with Welsh 
efifortsin art, I base my claim to tender such counsel as 
many years of experience and observation have suggested. 






I DESIRE at once, and quite unreservedly, to repudiate any 
claim to speak with authority upon any one of the arts, 
graphic or plastic, domestic or decorative. I am a mere 
wayfarer on the Queen's highway, who, in the bustle of 
the crowd, glances to right and to left to appreciate the 
beauty or the barrenness of the land ; and any remarks 
which I may make to you to-night, I make, not as an 
expert, not as one who has any special knowledge or any 
claim to speak dogmatically upon these matters, but as an 
observer and a wayfarer. 

As we look round upon the life and the activities of our 
day in Wales, I think we cannot but feel that we are in 
the glad spring-time for Wales. There are budls and 
blossoms and flowers of promise in every sphere of the 
activity of the Welsh people, whether they live in Wales 
or over the border, and I think in a season of awakening it 
is right and well and perhaps a duty on our part, to see 
what is the meaning of the awakening, how deep it is, 
and into what channels the new life which comes from the 
awakening is spreading itself. 

I think one may say at the start — and one admits it 

^ Address delivered before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 
at 20, Hanover Sqaare, on Wednesday, 10th March, 1897 ; Chairman, 
Dr. Isambard Owen, M.A., Senior Deputy Chancellor of the University 
of Wales. 


with sorrow as well as with frankness — ^that not the most 
patriotic of us can claim for Wales the possession of a 
native school of art, such as is possessed by other small 
countries which have obtained and enjoyed the priceless 
gift of self-government. I remember well in 1889 spend- 
ing a few days in the Centenary Exhibition at Paris. I 
have forgotten most of what I saw there. I have a vague 
recollection of the crowd, the physiognomy and character- 
istics of those who came from the various provinces of 
France, and of the enormous wealth exhibited, the wealth 
of industry, of art, of commerce, and of the various 
activities of the great country of France. But the one 
thing which stands out in my memory, which I think will 
stand out so long as I live, is the fact that, not alone had 
the great countries, France, Germany, Great Britain, their 
separate rooms for the exhibition of the products of their 
art, but that Denmark, Finland, Servia, Greece, and coun- 
tries very much the same as Wales in population and in 
ordinary material wealth, had, each one of them, even 
distant Finland, separate rooms in that great Exhibition, 
in order to show, as show they did, the splendid products 
of the native art of their respective countries. I wondered 
then, as I often wonder now, whenever I think of these 
nationalities, whether it is possible that in the times to 
come our own country may, as an outcome of enfranchised 
nationhood, claim a place in the galleries which from 
time to time will show the collective activities of the 
nations of the world. 

But, even without this, one is glad and proud that there 
have been from time to time witnesses to the latent power 
for art in the Welsh people. It is true that many of these 
have shown this latent power well over the border of Wales 
and in other lands, but I think they have almost all shown 
it with a personal pride in their early training and recol- 


lections and associations connected with their life in Wales. 
Take, for instance, the fact, which must bring some pride 
to the heart of every Welshman, that the real father of 
the British school of landscape was Eichard Wilson, who . 
was brought up in comparatively humble surroundings in 
the little village of Penegoes. One of the most prolific and 
ablest of the sculptors who have brought glory to the 
British name in sculpture, was John Gibson of Conway. 
Inigo Jones in architecture, and Owen Jones in laying 
down the principles of ornament, have shown that from 
time to time there will arise witnesses to the latent power 
which lies in the race and people of Wales. 

In our own day we have witnesses to this same power. 
Were it not for his presence here to-night, I would venture 
to say a word or two as to the feeling of joy with which 
we look upon the career and the bright promise of a still 
greater career of our countryman, Mr. Goscombe John ; 
and, at any rate, one can (in the absence of Sir Edward 
Bume-Jones) express the pride which every Welshman 
and Welsh-woman must feel that it has been left to one 
of Welsh blood, who is proud of his Welsh blood and 
lineage, to bring forth new powers and reveal new 
secrets in art, in the person of Sir Edward Bume-Jones. 
Who, it has been fittingly asked, can measure the wealth 
of the thought and reading and fine literary discrimina- 
tion which is signified by the command possessed by 
Bume-Jones over the entire range of Northern and Celtic 
and Greek mythology, or the tenderness and largeness of 
sympathy which have enabled him to harmonise these 
with the loveliest truths of the Christian faith ? 

Before I touch upon my actual subject, I ought to refer 
to one other point. That is the change which has come 
over Wales in one respect during the last thirty or forty 
years in the fact that artists — ^not, I am sorry to say, as a 


rule Welsh artists, but artists from outside — ^have from 
time to time lived and settled down in Wales, in order 
to interpret the scenery and the life of Wales. My 
feeling of regard for them is tinged with sadness at the 
thought that the interpretation of the beauty of the land- 
scape and of the life of Wales should be left to artists 
from outside, and that their products should be for a 
public outside Wales. Their pictures do not pass through 
the mind or the heart of Wales. This must be so, until 
we have a municipal gallery or galleries, or a national 
gallery or galleries, where the works of these artists, who 
have seen the loveliness of Wales, can be exhibited for 
the wise enjoyment of the Welsh people. As it is we 
have neither galleries nor artists of our own, nor any 
means, except the wealth and good fortune and taste of 
an individual Welshman' here and there, of securing for 
our people either temporarily or permanently, the artistic 
interpretation of the landscape and life of Wales. 

But, perhaps, national or municipal galleries are not 
the main thing necessary for the cultivation among the 
Welsh people themselves of a sense and capacity for art. 
I think it quite possible that both in England and in 
Wales we may have the production of hundreds and 
thousands of paintings or pictures, and at the same time 
a deterioration of the public taste in art. Art and artists 
on the one hand, and ordinary life and industry on the 
other hand, have during the last century and a half been 
more and more divorced, and I am convinced, from what 
I can read and learn and observe, that we can never expect 
a real pervasive feeling and taste for art until this divorce 
between the artist and his studio, on the one hand, and 
the workman and his workshop, on the other hand, can be 
done away with, and the gulf between them be bridged over. 
If that be so, I feel that we should at present not so much 



concern ourselves about what I may call the great master 
arts of painting and of sculpture, as with the more domestic 
and decorative arts, to which I desire to refer to-night. 
For great artists and great sculptors cannot be produced, 
even like Senior Classics and Senior Wranglers by great 
schools or great universities. They can only be produced 
very largely at Nature's own pleasure, at her own time, 
and in her own way, her own very often quaint, seemingly 
capricious, and unsuspected way. But though they cannot 
be produced at schools, yet I think that the hi&tory of the 
art world will show us that they will arise from among 
the children of an educated race, cultivated in music and 
in literature, and of a race where there has been developed 
an innate instinct for beauty, derived from arts practised 
from father to son, and extended from valley to valley, 
and from workshop to workshop. 

I referred a few minutes ago to the divorce which the 
introduction of machinery and the great industrial revolu- 
tion of the last century and a half have brought into the 
art and industiy of this country. I think that that 
divorce has had a bad effect upon both the artists of our 
day and upon the workmen, the craftsmen of our day. 
When the artist, say the architect, has great designs, noble 
views of his own with regard to the rearing of a great 
building, he makes this design in his studio, he probably 
submits it to some governing body or committee, and when 
approved or accepted places it in the hands of men whom 
he has never known, with whom he has never come into 
contact, and with whom he has, as a rule, very little social 
sympathy. I believe 1 am right when I say that in the 
great ages of production, in the ages, for instance, of the 
building of the stately abbeys and the great cathedrals 
and churches of Western Europe, the architects had in 
all manner of ways a much nearer touch with the actual 


workmen. As a matter of fact, I believe that the artifi- 
cers, the workers of our great abbeys and churches, were 
housed very often in the abbey church, or in the very 
house of the architect. Very often the bishop himseK 
was the architect, and I have no doubt that Wyke- 
ham and Grower, as well as many others, were not merely 
architects living in a studio, but that they were in close 
and constant and loving touch with the actual workmen 
who carved the stone and placed the wood, and found 
pleasure in carrying out in the minutest detail the ideas 
of their great master. 

That is not so in our day. The artist too often takes 
little interest either in the problems or in the life or 
in the wants of the actual workman or craftsman, and the 
craftsman is not taught or encouraged to take actual 
personal pleasure in carrying out the ideals and the plans 
of his master or his architect. I venture to think that 
the only way in which that gulf can be to some extent 
bridged is by so modifying our present system of industry 
as to make it possible for the workman to take and to feel 
a personal human interest in the actual details of his work 
from day to day. As things are at present, owing very 
largely no doubt to the enormous development of machi- 
nery, owing perhaps also to the enormous extension of our 
great factory system, it is diflScult, and in many cases 
perhaps impossible, for workmen to use hand and brain 
and aflPection in the way to which I have referred. But I 
am convinced that it is our duty, so far as in us lies, to 
make it easy for the workmen as well as for those for 
whom homes and schools and chapels are built, to feel and 
to realise that it is possible to give thought and brain, the 
highest qualities of art, to the construction even of the 
simplest form of building, whether that building be a 
house, or a school, or a chapel, or a hall of council. And 

c 2 


although we in Wales cannot hope to produce at command 
great sculptors, or great painters, or great architects, yet 
I am convinced that we can very largely through our 
public and national system of education do much to kindle 
and rekindle and nourish the instinct for art in its appli- 
cation to industry, for beauty of design and truth in 
workmanship, in the mind and the life of the people, and 
more especially by nourishing the domestic and decorative 
arts, which are the handmaidens of the mother art of 

You may ask me what is meant by decorative art. I 
would reply in the words of perhaps the greatest witness 
to the need for domestic art, and to the results, and 
to the beauty, and to the value of it to the national 
life, namely, WiUiam Morris. He said that the twofold 
office of domestic art is to give people pleasure in the 
things they must perforce use, and to give people pleasure 
in the things that they must perforce make. Now, let us 
apply that definition or description of the office of de- 
corative art to two simple things, to the building of a 
home and to our regard for a book. I only take these as 
the two that are nearest to us, as the two that are neces- 
sary to us, and as the two that during life give us the 
greatest possible pleasure and joy ; and I must admit, as 
I look round parts of Wales and parts of England, that 
we have, under various pretexts, very much to learn from 
the generations that have gone by, with regard to them. 
In our prosperity, our love of change, our tendency to 
follow the fashion of the day, we have under various 
pretexts cleared oflP from Wales most of the memorials 
of what native art there was in Wales. The number, 
for instance, of the homesteads, whether manor houses 
or farm houses or cottages, of Wales, which are old, is 
already comparatively small. The vast majority of the 


old churches of Wales have been restored out of all 
recognition. You can go to various glens and country 
sides in Wales where some of the very loveliest churches 
in this country used to be, and instead of those beautiful 
buildings that attract and extort the admiration even of 
the most aggressive politician, what will you find ? Not 
these ancient buildings, except one here and there, but 
spick and span churches, that you would not really spend 
half an hour in crossing over fields to see. I have felt 
the deepest and bitterest regret in going to certain parts 
of Wales, where there used to be these magnificent old 
churches, and finding hardly a stone or trace of the old 
church, but some modem and utterly characterless 

Bnt there are enough manor houses and farm houses and 
cottages in Wales still to show us that there was almost 
instinctively in their builders a natural taste for what 
was fitting and pleasurable and beautiful. Before enter- 
ing these old houses, one thing, I think, strikes most 
observers. Our forefathers in Wales did not plant their 
houses just in the first place they came to. Many of our 
villages now, and of our newer houses, are just planted 
around railway stations, with very little thought of the 
fittingness of the situation. But if you observe the old 
homes of Wales, whether manor houses or farm houses, 
or cottages, you will find that the builder has been very 
careful in his choice of the site. Not that, as a rule, he 
chose to build a house where he had the best view of 
scenery, because peasants do not always realise the beauty 
of landscape, but he generally chose it in a spot sheltered 
from the prevailing wind. The house was built where 
there was a sense of comfort and of restfulness, and instead 
of leaving the house bare to the four winds, and to the 
tempests and rains of Wales, the builder generally sur- 


rounded it by a belt of sycamore, or ash, or oak, or pine 
trees. I often wish that the builders of our day, the great 
landowners of Wales, as the case may be, or you rich 
London people who go down to Wales and build your 
houses on our hillsides, would emulate the care taken by 
our forefathers in the choice of site and aspect for their 

Before we go inside the old Welsh home, there are one 
or two other points which are always of great interest to 
me, in fact three points, the porch, the window, and the 
chimney. It is very seldom that I see in modem houses 
in Wales the same charm, either in chimney, window, or 
porch, as in the old Welsh houses. These are not matters 
to be made light of. I think that the square, squat 
chimney on a house, is one of the ugliest monstrosities 
that the eye can rest upon, and I feel a certain joy when 
I think of some of the old houses, especially some old 
Tudor and Stuart houses in Wales, where the chimneys 
themselves are things of beauty, not those square, squat 
piles of stone, but fine long, almost sinuous chimneys, 
that are a joy to contemplate. The windows of many of 
the old houses are not perhaps very regular ; they are not 
placed, as in a good many modern houses, just like a 
postage stamp on a letter, but there is a certain fittingness 
about them. There is generally either about the shape of 
the window, or about the casement, or the way of dis- 
posing of the glass and the lead or wood, something to 
attract and to please the fancy. In the porch or door one 
is glad always to notice in the older houses not alone the 
solid, honest way in which the door and its framework 
have been put up, but the fact that the timber itself has 
been thoroughly well chosen and well seasoned, which is 
not true of most of the modem houses ; and that, instead 
of having handles and knockers chosen out of those made 


by the gross at Bilston or Wolverhampton, they have 
generally finely wrought handles, made deftly and honestly 
by the village blacksmith, which stand, not the racket of 
a few years, but work as easily and smoothly to-day as 
they did when Elizabeth was Queen or Charles I was 
King. When you go inside some of these old houses, is 
there not a certain character about the size and form of 
their rooms which is missing in our more modem farm- 
houses? Take, for instance, the characteristic of every 
old Welsh house, the great mantel — y fantdlfawr — over 
the fireplace, not a miserable little grate just stuck 
in a wall, but a real mantel, which is a feature of the 
whole room, where there is plenty of room for a fire, and 
where the family can comfortably sit around at night, and 
not feel that one is taking the whole of the fire, and 
that the others have to take a ' back or an apologetic seat. 
It is a joy to me that, in the better planned houses of our 
own day, the houses that are planned by our competent 
domestic architects, and that are enjoyed by men of wealth 
and taste, this great feature of the old Welsh houses, the 
fantell fawr is becoming, whether in the hall or in the 
dining-room, one of the striking and most pleasurable 
features. I am always glad to find also in old farm houses, 
not only that there is a spacious fireplace with a fine mantel, 
but that there is also in most of the old Welsh houses a 
collection of really fine fire-irons ; and, believe me, there 
can be the display of as much real art and taste, and 
honesty of design, and of workmanship, in fire-irons, as in 
most of the pictures that crowd the walls of the Royal 
Academy. I always feel when I see these in a good 
many old Welsh homes that we have there the highest 
of the elementary requisites of art, viz., fittingness for 
the work they have to perform, taste in design, and 
thorough honesty in workmanship. 


Then look at the furniture. I need not recall to your 
memory the quite modern furniture of most of our houses^ 
the gimcrack things they are, without shape or strength. 
There is nothing in them which would mark them out as 
forms of furniture which are meant, not for one genera- 
tion, but for a succession of generations, around which 
the associations and the tenderness and the love of home 
may imperceptibly and unconsciously cling so as to give a 
sacredness to the very atmosphere and surroundings of 
hearth and home. Wh^t was the main feature of the 
furniture of an old Welsh farmhouse ? Not a pretentious 
and characterless cupboard with a thin veneer over badly- 
seasoned and cracking timber, and with loose and ricketty 
hinges, but the cwphwrdd tridam — sl shapely and substantial 
cupboard of solid and seasoned oak. It is well propor- 
tioned, it is shapely; perhaps there is a dainty bit of 
carving on it, a few initials and perchance a date. At 
any rate, it is serviceable, it has served not one 
geiieration, but three, five, eight generations in that 
hearth and home. Are you surprised that there should 
be in Wales that strong aflPection and attachment to 
hearth and home, which very much puzzle the modem 
man, but which I think are a glory and a strength to the 
Welsh character and to the Welsh nation. I need only 
mention other features of the furniture and economy 
of a Welsh house, the dresser, the settle, the arm chair, 
the table, the eight-day clock, which unconsciously carry a 
message from generation to generation, and add to the 
wealth of associations and to the hereditary enjoyment 
of a home, making it possible, I think, not merely for the 
most beautiful home aflPections to be nourished, but 
making it possible from time to time to have issue from 
those houses men and women who can and must dis- 
tinguish themselves in art and in other spheres of activity. 


Of late years, owing to . circumstances and conditions of 
life and tenure and law, the number of houses which are 
built by those who have to dwell in them is comparatively 
small, and we find as a result that, not merely are houses 
thrown up, so to speak, in our industrial districts suddenly 
and without much thought for anything except a quick 
return or a big dividend, but that now even in our 
agricultural and peasant districts the person who has to 
live in the home is seldom or ever the builder of his own 
house. It may be that this is inevitable, and that we have 
to make the best of it, but at any rate I think it is only 
well to face the fact tliat some of our greatest teachers 
say that we can never hope to have beautiful fitting homes 
so long as they are built, not by those who have to live in 
them, but by others, who have only some material or cash 
interest in them. Buskin some wheresays, I think it is 
in The Eaglets Nest : "If cottages are ever to be wisely 
built again, the peasant must enjoy his cottage and be 
himself its architect, as a bird is. Shall cock robins and 
yellow-hammers have wit enough to make themselves com- 
fortable, and bullfinches pick a Gothic tracery out of 
decayed clematis, and your English (and he might add 
your Welsh) yeoman be fitted by his landlord with four 
dead walls and a drainpipe ? Is this the result of your 
spending £300,000 a year at South Kensington in science 
and art ?" Without entering either into the question of 
the tenure of houses and land in Wales, or into that most 
interesting question of the future of South Kensington, I 
think it is interesting at any rate, and perhaps right, that 
we should mark and ponder over this dictum of Euskin ; 
for I must admit that, much as bustling generations and 
the multitude of the Philistines in this country have 
laughed from time to time during the last fifty years at 
the teaching and the dicta of the Master, yet time con- 


stantly brings him its revenges, and dicta, which thirty or 
forty or fifty years ago and even to-day, are scoffed at by 
busy, prosperous, pushing men, have a curious knack of 
being recognised as permanent and solid truths by the 
more thoughtful men and women of our time. I must 
admit that I do feel a ceitain sense of void as I think of 
the modem buildings^ the farmhouses and cottages of 
Wales, their want of character, their want of anything 
like attractiveness of form, and certainly their want of 
anything like persona] individuality. I repeat, I feel a 
certain void when, as I sometimes have the pleasure of 
doing, I pass through Swiss or Tyrolese villages and glens, 
and observe how the Swiss and the Tyrolese peasants can 
and do build themselves a home, fittingly proportioned, 
daintily carved with scrolls or inscriptions, with variations 
of line, and form, and colour, which give an individuality 
to each dwelling. I hope that, whatever may be the laws 
which govern the tenure of houses or of land in Wales, 
we shall do, as I am glad to find the committees of our 
Eisteddfodau do, our very utmost to impress upon the 
workmen and the handicraftsmen of Wales the dignity 
and the value and the possibilities of their every-day work. 
T am not to-night going to appreciate or examine the 
work, precious pioneer work, which the Committee of the 
Newport Eisteddfod, and, in a more modest way, of the 
Festiniog Eisteddfod, are doing for art and handicraft in 
Wales. I believe that a perusal of the published pro- 
gramme of Ne^Tport and a perusal also of the manuscript 
programme of Festiniog gives one some sense of joy that 
the Eisteddfodau, not content with instilling a love for 
and helping the practice of excellence in music, in litera- 
ture, and in poetry, are doing something, and, I believe, 
something substantial, to encourage those who build houses 
in Wales, those who own them, and those who work upon 


them, whether carpenters, or joiners, or blacksmiths, or 
furniture makers, to put thought, and heart, and brain into 
the construction of homes, places of worship, houses of 
business, halls of council, which in themselves, in their 
furniture and in their surroundings, imperceptibly but very 
surely exercise a far-reaching influence upon all those, old 
and young, whose eyes rest on them, and who dwell in 
their midst. 

Whatever may be our possessions or our want of posses- 
sions, our opportunities and institutions, or our lack of 
them, this at any rate is true, that there is in Wales a 
respect for and a love for books. Our countrymen pro- 
bably draw as much joy and comfort and strength from 
books as the common people of any country. Some 
people, I think quite a number of people, believe that any 
paper, or any type, or any cover, is good enough for a 
book ; they say that all they want in the book is the actual 
word. Prom my point of view, to treat a book in that 
way, and to say that any paper, or type, or cover, is good 
enough for it, is a form of sacrilege. It is a betrayal of 
one's best friend ; it is shabby treatment of a man's 
greatest comforter. For what after all is a good book ? 
It represents the most precious heritage of the ages, 
it contains the highest thoughts about God, Nature, 
and human things. It represents what mankind, by a 
curious but very sure instinct, looks upon as a permanent 
and imperishable treasure. Nevertheless, some would say 
that it is good enough for this precious heritage to be 
huddled anyhow into a tawdry or rubbishy cover or shoddy 
binding, with careless and blurred type, on cheap and 
nasty paper. Can we not in Wales give a nobler place, 
take a lighter view of the value of a book, as a friend, as 
a comforter, as a strength to us ? So far, what we have 
done with our books, as a rule, is to leave them in the 


British Museum or let them be kept, too many of them, 
in manuscripts at the caprice of individuals, and subject 
to the ravages of time and the ordinary accidents of cir- 
cumstance. Happily, more and more of our books, of our 
permanent treasures, are being published. Can we not 
show a further appreciation of the value to the individual 
and the active life of our people of our books ? Can we 
not, for instance, more and more encourage those who 
place the great thoughts of the world to do so, not on 
miserable paper with bad type and characterless binding, 
without any illustration except perhaps a cheap reproduc- 
tion of a photograph or a rough-and-ready engraving? 
Can we not in one way or another, either individually or 
collectively, encourage these beautiful arts, of printing 
well, of illustrating well, and of binding well? If in- 
dividually we do this and encourage this, I believe we 
shall give an enormous impetus to one of the noblest 
forms of decorative art in Wales, and is it not high time 
that we should in this way treat the Mabinogion, Dafydd 
ab Gwilym, Ceiriog's Myfanwy and Alun Mabon, and even 
the Pennillion Telyn and the Tribanau. These are racy 
of the soil of Wales, in one and all of these you feel, as 
you read them, the very pulses of the life of Wales, and 
yet we seem satisfied if we can get them in any common- 
place, unlovely form. Cannot we hope that our artists 
may find their inspiration — as English artists do in Chaucer 
and in the great masterpieces of English literature—in, for 
instance, the Mabinogion^ and in illustrating what I may 
call the home and domestic poetry of the Welsh people ? 
Cannot we also hope that there may be set up Welsh 
printing presses whose owners shall take real trouble 
and incur expense in securing not the cheapest but 
the best type, and shall we not also do our utmost, 
individually and collectively, to encourage what I cannot 


but consider one of the most serviceable and highest forms 
of handcraft, namely, the binding of books ? I do think 
that a beautifully bound book is a joy in itseK now and 
for ever to its possessor, and there is no reason whatever 
why in this matter much steady and speedy improvement 
should not be secured in Wales. There is no need for 
us to go through any great agitation. We have only, one 
and all, to do our duty towards our best friends, the 
favourite books of childhood, of youth, and of age. 

I might easily mention other forms of activity and of 
craftsmanship where decoration and beauty of design and 
honesty of workmanship come in, for instance, pottery, 
tapestry, even posters. I think that one of the many 
joys, or, if you will, compensations of living in London 
is the enormous improvement in the posters of this 
great town. I feel a considerable interest whenever I 
go through a town in the various features of its life, in 
its houses, its churches, its schools, and in the faces and 
dresses of its people, but I must admit that advertisement 
hoardings in every town have almost as much attraction for 
me as anything. I can see there a miniature of the life of 
the town. I can see what the real activity and interest of 
the town is. I consider that they form a veiy fair indica- 
tion of the life and the taste and the promise of a town. I 
remember that after visiting one town I came away with 
a feeling of thankfulness for one poster I saw pasted 
up on a hoarding in it. The town was that sink of 
iniquity. Port Said, which commands the entrance to the 
Suez Canal. The human rubbish and vice of the world 
seem to have been carted into a heap in this town. I 
think I have never seen a town with so many glaring 
proofs of the hideousness of its moral life. But the 
morning before I sailed down the Canal, I came across 
one poster which extorted my admiration. It was beauti- 


fully printed. Ifc was a call to the Italians of that town 
to celebrate the 20th of September, the entry of the 
Italian troops into Rome in 1870. It called, in the names 
of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel, on 
all the Italians in that town to meet together to com- 
memorate that striking and glorious day in the history of 
their fatherland. The very sight of that poster seemed to 
me to convey a splendid image of the nationality and 
humanity of the Italians who struggled for a bare exist- 
ence, and it gave me something like a redeeming glimpse of 
the life in that dreadful place. Therefore, I hope that in 
Wales we shall not look down upon the value of the 
poster, and I am extremely glad that both the Newport 
and the Festiniog Eisteddfod Committees have offered a 
handsome prize for the best pictorial poster for an 

There are other by-ways of activity, about which one 
can speak in reference to decorative art. There are village 
crosses and memorials; there are memorial windows in 
church and college ; and there are tombs. I shall not 
refer to-night to any of these, except by the mere mention 
of them, but I always feel that a very great deal can be 
done for the rekindling and fostering of beauty of design 
and honesty of workmanship in all these various features. 
I think nothing is more attractive in the villages where 
they stiU survive than the old Celtic crosses of the early 
centuries. They are silent witnesses of the generations 
that have passed away in those villages, and they are wit- 
nesses to this day of the beauty of design and of the 
instinctive skill which a Welshman in the early, the 9th, 
10th, and 11th centuries possessed. I shall be extremely 
glad when villagers themselves, or those who having left 
villages and prospered in the world and returned again, 
realise what a service they do to a village if they help to 


raise a village cross or some form of village monument to 
those who, sprung from the village or countryside, have 
done credit to their birthplace and service to humanity. 
I was one day last summer in the little village of Llansan- 
nan, which is considered to be a completely out of the 
world place. There you find at the present day some of 
the most characteristic Welshmen in the whole of Wales. 
There you find a certain freshness and vigour of 
spirit and of activity and withal splendid conservatism 
of custom and tradition on the part of the villagers 
and the peasants, and I felt as I looked upon the open 
square of the little village that it would be a real 
addition to that village, and something that would perhaps 
kindle the young mind there, if a fitting monument, say a 
Celtic cross, such as you find in Glamorganshire and 
Pembrokeshire and in many parts of Ireland, were raised 
in honour of the men who have been reared in that parish. 
Pour names at once occur to me as being worthy to be 
placed in honour on such a village cross. Por a parish 
which has produced at various ages Tudur Aled, William 
Salesbury, Gwilym Hiraethog, and Henry Rees, is a parish 
which can be very proud of itself, and a parish which 
ought, I think, to raise for generations of its children a 
monument to show that it appreciates the services which 
men who have been reared and who have lived in that 
parish have rendered, not only to that countryside, but to 
the whole of Wales, and in a degree to humanity. 

To sum up these stray thoughts of mine, I would say 
that our duty is, first of all, to banish from our minds 
the idea that art is something confined to painting and 
sculpture, and to impress, in season and out of season, by 
word and by deed, that the only real hope of art is in its 
constant application to industry and to everyday life. I 
would further say that it is our duty in our national 


gystem of education, in our primaiy schools, in our 
secondaiy schools, and still more in our evening^ continua- 
tion schools, to impress the necessity for ma-Tiiial training', 
for training in the use of tools, and for training in various 
handicrafts. I would further say that we should give 
every possible encouragement to the su^pestion, for in- 
stance, which was made at a Cymric gathering by Professor 
Herkomer, that we should not alone rely upon manual 
training and training in the use of tools and in handicraft 
in our present schools, but that there should be raised in 
Wales one, or two, or three Schools of Arts and Crafts, 
where workmen and others can be trained, and from which 
we can hope to secure an adequate and permanent supply 
of well-trained teachers. I further think that we should, 
so far as possible, by this means and by other means, en- 
courage the establishment and the fostering of home 
industries, of village industries in Wales. This does not 
imply at all any piratical or quixotic desire to upset what 
I suppose must be the normal and permanent system of 
industry in this country by factories and by machinery, 
but there is still ample and abundant room for the 
development of handicraft in wood, in stone, and in 

If one asks how this can be done, all I would say is 
this: It cannot be done suddenly and quickly. The 
development of taste, the gradual accumulation of 
hereditary skill, and the diffusion of right ideas of design 
and of art among a people, cannot be achieved by passing 
resolutions or by plebiscite. They can only come by 
education, by right ideals, and by patience. H we have 
right ideals, if we give generous encouragement, and if 
we persist in well-doing, then I think we deserve the 
right to look forward stedfastly and hopefully to the 
dawning of that fuller and ampler time, when the cottages 


of Wales, when the halls of council of Wales, when the 
schools where the young of Wales are trained, when the 
temples where the manhood and womanhood of Wales pay 
homage to the Power that creates, and maintains, and 
guides, when all buildings and all products of the national 
mind shall show that there is a real vitality in the 
national art of Wales, in that art which shall mirror not 
only the bright fancy of the Celt, but that love of home, 
that love of things of the mind, that spirituality, and that 
serious outlook upon the mystery of life and the mystery 
of death which characterise the Cymry. 





The air being now so full of the clash and movement of 
the ^^ reawakening of Wales ", the writing of this paper 
is only one of the things to be expected. For amongst 
the many names and ŵttchwords which in a sort are 
shibboleth of the present unrest, that of Owen ab Gruffydd, 
lord of Glyndwrdy and Coron'd Prince of Wales, is one of 
the most frequent and potent ; nay, one of the most 
graceful recognitions of our idols and ideals of recent 
years, was when, last year at Machynlleth, H.E.H. the 
Prince of to-day, referred with such good taste aud feeling 
to " my predecessor in the princeship, Owen Glyndwr." 

But the outsider to whom, before that, the deeds and 
person of great Owen had seemed to be for ever summed 
up and graven in a single line of Skakespeare — ^' The wild, 
irregular, Glendower" — may well be pardoned a little 
curiosity at suddenly finding that there are wide sweeps 
of vision beyond that line, that that line is but as a dew- 
gemmed web sparkling in the sun across the entrance of a 
region well worth exploring. He may be excused a little 
eagerness if he discover that, looking at that line as at a 
star in the darkness of a still midnight, he see beyond it 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Cjmmirodorion at 20, Han- 
over Square, on Wednesday, the 12th of May, 1897 ; Chairman, Hubert 
Hall, Esq., Directoi and Hon. Secretary of the Royal Hi&torical Society. 


a distance that grows quick with life as it grows deeper ; 
space that grows luminous with suggestiveness — ^into 
that space what dazzling planets may have swung and 
passed, leaving him wondering if into that space other 
planets may swing and follow in the impalpable track 
of the departed one. National heroes — wielders and 
moulders of nations — are planets indeed. After Llewelyn 
follows Glyndwrdy ; after Glyndwrdy — who ? 

But to come down again to the lower plane. The out- 
sider, listening for a moment to the clamour of our speakers 
calling from platform and press, grows dubiously aware that 
Owen lived to other ends than merely that of furnishing 
a page or two for the stage ; of perpetuating a sarcastic 
calumny upon the nation and a jest anent the national 
character. There begins to dawn upon him a suspicion of 
the truth that if Glyndwr had never lived, then the Welsh 
nation of to-day would possibly be different to what it is 
at present ; and so in a moment of gratitude for a new 
interest, and of hope for a new enlargement of his mental 
horizon, he determines to learn all that is to be known of 
Owen. Straightway he applies to the nearest man with a 
reputation for " knowing all about Welsh history " — alack ! 
how easily is such a reputation sometimes acquired, and 
what a melancholy bubble it ofttimes proves before the 
prick of a single question — and immediately, if he is 
fortunate, he is furnished with a list of works wherein he 
fchall find all that he requires. 

But when with fine zeal he has gone through them all, 
lie will in the end discover that for all practical purposes 
he might as well have begun and ended with Pennant, 
who not only tells pretty nearly all that was to be told, 
but tells it, too, in a manner worth listening to. Nay, he 
win find that most later historians have calmly appropriated 
Pennant in bulk ; have, in fact, merely unbacked and un- 

p 2 


bound his book and ^' grangerised " it with a few patches 
of Latin irrelevancies ; with pages of mild disquisitions 
born of the holy horror of the holy orders at Owen's 
deplorable habit of breaking eggs merely because he had 
omelettes to make, and also with timid deprecations of 
distress that Owen should have so far forgotten the 
elegancies as to use fire and sword in making war. Such 
re-hashes of Pennant are scattered from one end to the 
other of Welsh-English literature; all elegant, depre- 
cating, apologistic, and unspeakable. 

And if from these unprofitable dilettante he turns to 
read what later English historians have said of Owen, he 
will probably find himself busy with Wylie's Henry IV, 
But he will see from the very first page that he must 
make allowances for an author who is frankly and openly 
a zealous partizan of Henry's ; and that a man unac- 
quainted with other sources would get a. yet inadequate 
idea of Gljnndwr did he stick to Wylie alone. Lastly, let 
him turn to the National Biography, and he will find 
himself still looking at Owen through obviously alien eyes ; 
albeit those eyes are more appreciative than perhaps might 
have been expected. It is a little curious, however, to find 
that not even the printing of The Chronicle of Adam of 
TJsk " has yet done away with the ridiculous story of the 
supposed mutilations after the battle of Pilleth. Adam 
hated Owen as he loved Sir Edmund Mortimer, the de- 
feated one on that occasion ; and even his patriotism would 
not have withheld him from publishing such a disgrace 
to ^^ Owen and his starvelings " had the thing ever 
happened. For through his whole chronicle he differ- 
entiates between '^ Owen and his rebels " and the Welsh 
people at large, villifying the one and upholding the other 
in a wrong-headed way delightfully human to read. 

But to come to the point. To print a history of Glyndwr 


upon the basis of what has hitherto appeared in print of 
him, would simply mean a reprint of Pennant's work, with 
the addition of a few paragraphs of extra later information 
from those who followed and leaned upon him. To-day, 
however, we have different ideas of history to those which 
sufficed in the days when the curates brought forth their 
little picks and shovels to dig in the garden of Pennant 
and under the shade of a sun umbrella to apologise for 
the shockingly vigorous characteristics of the heroes they 
disinterred. Then a popular history meant a tabulated 
list of surface effects, chronologically correct and suavely 
and elegantly stated, but with scarcely an indication of 
the subtler under-workings which caused those effects. 

Therefore the next history, while it cannot well get very 
far away from Pennant as to surface actions, must yet 
expound some of those actions differently, and also go a 
little deeper down and busy itself with exposing the under- 
lying national conditions which made Owen's pinnacle 
possible. Further, it must trace whatever of permanence 
was in his work ; that is to say, the after effect of his 
rising upon the subsequent condition and ^history of the 
nation. To take an instance — it must begin not only with 
a sketch of the political history of Wales from the death 
of Llewelyn Olaf, but also of Welsh social history, as 
shaken and acted upon, not only by the various attempts 
to throw off the Norman yoke, but particularly by the 
tremendous stroke of the "Black Death", which shook 
Wales to its foundations as nearly as it shook England 
and all the other countries of Christendom. Only of late 
years have historians recognised the importance of that 
visitation in English history, while as to Wales its effect 
has scarcely been hinted at. 

And yet a study of the scanty material left to us in 
extents, inquisitions after deaths, court records, and so 


forth, shows us that then, in the ruin and weakness which 
followed in the wake of that plague, Welsh national life 
seems to have given the first faint indications of returning 
health. , Slight, indeed, like the hardly discernible breath 
upon the mirror held to the lips of a sorely wounded man, 
yet none the less an indication of life. From that date we 
find signs that the common people began to stand by the 
old laws in their daily lives ; not the laws of the later 
codes, feudalized and Normanized as they had become 
before the death of Llewelyn Olaf, but the laws as the 
Triads betray them, older, more primitive, and in many 
respects less oppressive. Upon such a return would natur- 
ally follow new hopes and wider aspirations. The golden 
age is always in the past with every people ; of tenest in 
the dim dawn of history, upon whose visionary background, 
white of all facts, bards and seers and prophets of comfort 
have ever expended their dearest and noblest efiPorts to 
paint the picture of what may yet be again, and thus to 
fill the souls of suffering men with hope and strength to 
will and to win. 

*^ When Adam delved and Eve span ", chanted the 
English rebels — and we may be sure that in Wales it was 
*^when Arthur ruled and Merlin sang " that the golden 
day existed. In rehabilitating the old laws they had al- 
ready made one step backward towards the reattainment 
of the ancient happiness, the next step would follow of 
itself. And so from that moment the nation grew and 
ripened in this new hope, waiting only for the leader who 
should fulfil it. The hour had begun ; the man was soon 
to appear. 

For Glyndwr was bom in the birth time of these new 
ideas — within the first decade after the visitation in fact ; 
and though as a chieftain he may have had little sympathy 
with bondmen's dreams and mere tribesmen^s hopes, yet 


it was with them entirely that his strength lay ; and it was 
to the fact that they garlanded him with all their hopes of 
release from the grinding oppression of the Marcher lords, 
that he owed the power which cost England fabulous sums 
and countless armies to live through. 

It is, then, only by taking count with the after effects 
fo the Black Death that we can properly understand the 
curious course of Grlyndwr's rising. 

In all countries alike the chief effect was seen amongst 
the tillers of the soD, the actual labourers in the more 
purely agricultural districts. In England it led to rising 
after rising of the commons, usually under obscure agita- 
tors and half articulate watchwords. In Wales, too, it 
was the common folk who fared worst, and in the richer 
agricultural domains and districts of the various Marcher 
lords that the worst effects were felt. Accordingly, there- 
fore, we find, when the hour came, that in those districts 
the rising was agrarian first and only political in an added 
and auxiliary sense. Their immediate lord, having regal 
power, as a Marcher had, was king to these men and 
thus when Owen's first flood of power forced those 
Marcher lords to lighten their yoke, to take off exactions 
and to bind themselves to better terms for the future, 
these common folk deemed that their object was won, and 
so settled down to enjoy the fruits of victory, leaving 
Owen to do as best he could with his weakened forces. 

Sentiment will live on while a practical interest flares 
up and dies ; and so we find that in those districts of North 
and Mid Wales where the interests of life were mainly 
pastoral instead of agricultural, the rising was more politi- 
cal than social. This is the reason why it was in North 
and Mid Wales that it established itself first and main- 
tained itself longest, if indeed it were ever entirely 
crushed out. Happier far and freer are the pastoral 


districts of any country. In the richer agricultural lands, 
the conditions of user lend themselves peculiarly to 
exaction and oppression. And so North and Mid Wales 
might rise enthusiastic to restore the corona of lost 
independence : there the bards might rouse young and 
old, chieftain and tribesman, to frenzy, as they sang of 
the restoration of the glory of those old days — 

When victory lighted o'er Llewelyn's ppears, 
What time he carved his name across the years. 

But in the older conquered districts, older conquered be- 
cause more open, rich, and tempting, where the Marcher's 
heel had ground the people deepest and longest, what the 
people looked for was relief from rigorous exactions ; it was 
there the common people who listened ; the toil- wrung serf ; 
the tribesman finding himself being slowly ground into 
villenage — these they were who turned their faces towards 
Gljnndwrdy and chanted Owen's name beneath their breath, 
like an orison to another Messiah ; kindling their hopes 
at the flash of his broad sword, and hanging upon his spear 
the new milennium, when rent should be abolished and 
exactions be no more. Hearken to the voice of it — " the 
country people rose, and swept away all boundaries, and 
divided the lands and gave them in common to all ; and 
the owners fled." This was when Owen appeared amongst 
them in South Wales ; this was what Owen meant to the 
rebels of South Wales at least, freedom from the oppres- 
sions of their lords — Welsh or English. " They took 
away from the rich and powerful and distributed the 
plunder amongst the weak and poor. The higher orders 
and chieftains were obliged to flee to England." Here is 
Utopia ; here is socialism ; here is the time-old revolt of 
the lowest class, the down-trodden and oppressed, against 
the bitterness of their lot. Small wonder that they wor- 
shipped Owen if he meant the realization of such a dream 


to their hungry hearts; smaller wonder yet if it lasted 
but a little while, and if the first benefit received by his 
means caused them to slack away and sit down from their 
leader. Their eyes were blinded by long tears and by 
long delving in the mire of earth ; they could not lift them 
high enough or far enough to see and realise all that Owen 
and the frenzied bards and mountaineers beheld afar off 
and dazzling — ^the independence of Wales. 

And by these heavy steps we come to understand why 
the rising lasted longer in the mountain countries than in 
the richer lowlands. Wealth, and the creation of it, tie a 
man's soul about with trammels of which the dweller 
amongst sterility knows nothing. The lords of the agri- 
cultural districts, finding that the King of England could 
not save them from the fury of Owen, reluctantly laid 
their account with naked facts and so came to treaty with 
their people, and by the proffer of new terms, less hard 
than the old, came again into possession and power ; at 
the same time buying recognition and countenance from 
Owen by the payment of a set and calculated sum. 
Thus we get the entries — " in this year the men of . . . 
Saxonised and deserted Owen." Owen had done what 
was hoped of him ; his advent had lightened their burdens 
and had turned back the stream of increasing exactions. 
A year or two of wild license had shown the wisest of 
them that Utopia pure and simple was an impossible state, 
and so they listened to the proffers of their former lords 
and agreed with them while they were yet in the way with 
them. The terms were so good, so far excelling the old 
terms, that they made haste to clinch the bargain and 
resume a settled life. All of them, that is, save those 
few finer fibred spirits, whose souls had caught light at 
the torch of freedom in Owen's hand and who therefore 
caused that entry — ^'the remainder of the true men 


followed Owen to the North and there settled." Small 
wonder that good sack-lined Adam of XJsk should exclaim 
that the world was coming to ruin, for that the common 
people would rule their lords. 

Still Owen had not finished with the good fortune which 
he brought to these benefited men. The fact that he 
still kept his footing in the wilder and more inaccessible 
districts held the Marcher lords to the letter of their new 
bargains. Had Elenry been able to crush him in some 
great battle, to kill or capture him, then the Marcher 
tenants would undoubtedly have found the old whips 
substituted by scorpions ; but as year after year went by 
and Owen still kept his eyries, the lords grew accustomed 
to the new order of things; acquiescence grew into settled 
custom, stronger for such lessons as that of 1409, when, 
following the defeat and death of Northumberland in the 
previous year, Henry's affairs seemed so prosperous that 
some of the lords attempted to restore the old order of 
things. Hence Owen's " excesses " in the spring of that 

I do not wish to lay too much stress upon this part of 
the movement which Owen headed. Only as it has 
never before been spoken of, I have rather insisted upon 
it, because I think that from this point of view alone can 
we understand the outbreaks in South and East Wales, 
when, Kke a sudden flood, the tide of revolt rose and spread 
from boundary to boundary, as from lordship to lordship 
the commons cried war for Glyndwrdy. " Owen and his 
starvelings," says the chronicler, " eight thousand spears, 
such as they w&re^^ he writes in another place. Tea, in 
the rich and open districts it was clearly the lower classes 
who joined Owen's standard or gathered themselves 
together, leaderless, and proclaimed his name. And in a 
rich country a poor man's revolt is seldom successful or 


productive of permanent good. Here, as was said above, 
the peculiar division of Owen's supporters into pastoral 
and agricultural tended to ensure some permanent benefit 
to the latter, through the easier pertinacity under different 
conditions of the former. 

To leave, however, this point of the conditions which pre- 
pared the way for Owen, there is hardly time to indicate 
what is meant by " an enquiry into the permanence of his 
work." But in North and Mid Wales we find the older 
Welsh laws re-emerging into power as customs of the 
people. Rents fixed at Llewelyn's death are found to have 
returned to that figure, and exactions dating from inter- 
mediate times have vanished. Encroachments cease, yea, 
are even swept away ; and so settled and strong does the 
return become that nearly two centuires afterwards, the 
first serious attempt to renew the policy of increasing 
exaction and encroachment — by Elizabeth's worthless 
favourite — ^is immediately answered by a popular rising, 
which, though put down, yet has the result of stopping 
the injustice which provoked it. Here, then, is one of 
the tests of Owen's greatness — that though he did not set 
up a nominally independent Wales, yet, for all essential 
purposes of internal or domestic development, he rescued 
the nation from alien spur and bridle, and set it back 
upon its own native courses. Thus it could go on in hope 
and comparative freedom, as it watched and waited for the 
day when on Bosworth Field it merged its aspirations in 
seeming fulfilment, and so set its face to look for a new 
day and a new order of things. 

But besides the interest of the beginning and the end of 
Owen's work, there is the interest of the actual methods 
of doing it. And here even Pennant comes short, though 
he is hardly to blame if, amongst his manifold accom- 
plishments, a knowledge of the art of war was not 


included. Yet Owen's acts and policy cannot be properly 
expounded without some knowledge of strategy. 

It seems a bold thing to claim for Owen a knowledge of 
strategy, since strategy is supposed to have been a lost art 
at that period : an art which, despite Hawkwood's fame 
in Italy, is not supposed to have re-emerged till Marl- 
borough at Blenheim taught the world that lesson the 
value of which Napoleon was the first to really see and 
profit by and profit so splendidly. 

But to take one particular instance. After the making 
of the famous plot with Percy and Mortimer, Owen was 
away in South Wales when Hotspur arrived at Chester. 
Now writer after writer has blamed Owen for being at 
that particular moment in South Wales instead of at 
Chester to meet his ally. He was "indulging his love of 
rapine by devastating the country", say these writers. 
As a matter of cold fact, politic as Owen usually was, he 
never engaged in a more politic and well-timed act than 
this of ravaging South Wales at that very moment. 

For the real rendezvous of the three allies was to be in 
the Mortimer country, that is to say, at Ludlow, then as 
afterwards the Mortimer capital. From this place they 
were to march eastward into England to attack Henry 
with a view to placing the crown upon the head of the child 
Earl of March, rightful heir of the throne. This would 
have made the Percies and Sir Edmund Mortimer Regents 
in England, and left Owen Prince of all the country west 
of Severn. How long such an arrangement would have 
lasted has nothing to do with us here ; what we are 
concerned with is Owen's conduct of his share of the plot. 
Parenthetically, however, this intended march from 
Ludlow as a base was a curious anticipation of those 
marches from the same base half a century later, which 
placed the Mortimer line upon the throne in the person 
^ Edward IV. 


Now the rule of the Lords Marcher in South and South 
West Wales had not yet been seriously broken, and so 
Owen, in marching with his allies into England, would 
have left his own countries of North and Mid Wales 
peculiarly exposed to attack from the swarming garrisons 
of the South. Therefore, waiting till the last and most 
efiPective moment, he sought to secure his right flank and 
rear from attack, and his strongholds from molestation in 
his absence, by carrying fire and sword through the 
southern lordships, and opening the flood-gates of revolt 
so widely as to keep the lords with their hands full at 
home till he should have time to return and complete the 
conquest. This is the real reason why he was ravaging 
South Wales when Hotspur reached Chester. 

TJlifortunately, however, he had arranged that all the 
tribesmen of North East Wales should join Hotspur on his 
way south, and so come to Ludlow in his company. But 
Hotspur, mis-weighing that accession to his strength — as 
the Kynastons, Hanmers and the like kindreds joined him in 
Owen's name — ^took a characteristic notion that he might 
very well pull down Henry single-handed. The prize to 
him, could he have accomplished such a daring plan, was 
great enough to have beguiled a more cautious head than 
his ever was ; and so we find him, without even word to 
Mortimer, striking off eastwai'd right into the heart of 
England, hoping to see the rest of the country rise to him 
as uncurbed Cheshire had done. 

But the people remembered the old days when Richard's 
misrule was propped up by these same lawless Cheshire 
archers, and Hotspur soon found himself, reluctantly 
enough, compelled to retrace his steps, and try to fulfil 
the original compact with his allies. His march eastward, 
however, had thrown the whole plan out of gear and ruined 
all chance of a junction. Owen, we know, turned back from 


St. Clears not earlier than the 12th of July. This would 
give him just time enough to have arrived at Ludlow a 
day or so after Hotspur, supposing that the over eager 
Percy had kept faithfully to the original plan. Owen at 
St. Clears was very little further from the rendezvous than 
Hotspur at Chester. But as, after Hotspui's departure 
eastward, Glyndwr could only guess at the whereabouts 
of the northern army, there was all the more reason why 
he should head at once for the agreed place of meeting, 
and join himseK to Mortimer at any rate. 

At Ludlow he would hear from the messenger, naturally 
sent by Percy to his brother-in-law, of Hotspur's retreat 
upon Shrewsbury, and there is reason to believe that in 
conjunction with Mortimer he started with all speed for 
the north. We know, however, that the weather had 
been of the worst description for days past, and that at 
the moment of sighting Shrewsbury the Severn was 
swirling full with an absolutely impassable flood. Con- 
sider his case : in nine day^ he had covered the country 
between St. Clears and Ludlow, and thence onward to the 
banks of the Severn. Much of that country was trackless 
waste of mountain and forest, with the floods out to bar 
his progress aiid the ceaseless rain to take the energy out 
of his men. 

And then, after all his labour, after all his forethought 
and planning, to have all his efforts brought to nothing by 
the reckless folly of his ally — his feelings must have 
been epic in their intensity as he saw the northern army, 
including some of his own best troops and even kinsmen, 
overthrown before his eyes, and he himseK barred by the 
flood from raising a hand to turn the tide of fortune. 

Space and time, however, prevent us going further into 
these matters ; but in conclusion I should like to indicate 
the directions in which successful search might help us 


most in reconstructing the story of Owen's rising and its 
effects. Stewards' accounts of receipts and disbursements, 
etc., in the southern lordships before and after the rising 
might give us some hints as to the basis upon which 
the inhabitants ^^ Saxonised ". Endorsements on contem- 
porary wills, to the effect that upon such a date the 
testator was killed, or the property devised was ravaged, by 
Owen, might possibly give us a precious date between that 
12th and 21st of July, 1403, which would enable us to 
trace Glyndwr's movements during those few fateful days. 
Above all, if any search should re-discover for us the work 
of "David Morgan, a Welshman, who in 1460 wrote a 
book of the antiquities of Wales and a description of the 
country," what a light in the darkness it would be to us, 
groping so eagerly for traces of the work of the man who 
by plots and parliaments, by raidings and razings, by 
battles and burnings, freed Wales from at least the worst 
tyranny of the Marcher lords; re-kindled the expiring 
hope of national freedom, and paved the way for the move- 
ment which ultimately bore a prince of Welsh blood to the 
English throne imder the dragon flag, and so, by fulfilling 
the national desires, put a period for ever to national 
uprisings — 

Our national hero, Owen Glyndwr ! 

After the reading of the foregoing paper the Chairman, 
Mr. Hubert BLá.LL, F.S.A., addressed the meeting as 
follows : — 

I am sure, ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me 
that we have listened to a very excellent and valuable 


paper to-night on a particularly interesting subject. 
There are a few remarks that naturally occur to a 
thotightul student of history, which, will occur to all of us, 
though, perhaps, from slightly different pointe of view. 
There is one observation which I should like to make 
which I think admits of no dissent; that is, regarding 
the most interesting style and form of the paper. It is 
a great thing in the present day when works embodying 
research are written in a manner which can be easily 
unQirsteod and made interesting to the general readers 
of history. Such a paper as this is not only pleasant to 
listen te as a piece of delightful prose, but also it is the 
more easily understood. 

Coming now to the historical value of the paper, it 
seems to me that the author advances several new and 
certainly valuable historical suggestions. I do not quite 
see my way to agreeing with his preliminary remarks on 
what we may call the bibliography of the subject ; I may, 
perhaps, be a httle prejudiced in that respect, as 'a 
Sassenach student of history. I have the pleasure of the 
personal acquaintance of the Saion writers, whom he has 
criticised rather severely ; I certainly can vouch for their 
<;ood intentions and strict impartiality, and I should like 
to suggest that, perhaps, when the author of the paper 
has carried out his most attractive promise of working out 
(«rtain lines of research, he will find himself more in 
agreement with these writers. Mr. Wylie was mentioned. 
I think that Mr. Wylie may be looked on as the typical 
Saxon historian of the Welsh history of the period. 
The writer in the Dictionary of National Biography re- 
ferred to is, of course, Prof essor Tout. He and Mr. Wylie 
eonfírm one another, but I have heard no word of a writer 
who came before them both. 1 remember some twelve 
or thirteen years ago being consulted about a paper which 


was oflFered by Mr. Solly Flood, Q.C. (who was at one 
time Attomey-Greneral of Gibraltar, and who subsequently 
devoted five or six years of his life to serious researches 
at the Record Office, and elsewhere), to illustrate the 
history of the life of Henry of Monmouth, i.e. Henry V, 
as Prince of Wales, and chiefly during the campaign 
against Owen Glyndwr. I had many opportunities of 
seeing his work, and it is interesting to note that this 
work was the precursor of the works of Mr. Wylie and 
Professor Tout, so that these three authorities go together, 
and I quite admit that they took a Saxon view, especially 
in upholding the necessity of what we may call the ancien 
regime of the Lord's Marchers, and in a sort of idolatry of 
Prince Henry. He was a young prince who could do 
nothing wrong ; he was painted by them as an angel, and, 
I am afraid, they represent Owen Glyndwr in rather tlie 
opposite character. But, though that is, perhaps, a 
national prejudice to be regretted, the work which these 
writers have done cannot be belittled. If we want to put 
them right, we must go behind them, we must show 
where they were wrong, and work up from Welsh sources 
which exist, as the author of this paper has justly said, 
a better account of the subject than has yet been given to 
us. Adam of Usk, who has been largely referred to, edited 
by Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, is one of the best 
authorities, and, though the author is violently Saxon, 
the editor is judiciously impartial. I have heard no word 
either of Sir James Ramsay's work, which I think might 
have been mentioned, a work which aims at being perfectly 

I think, perhaps, all these authorities may be regarded 
as representing the Saxon view, as against Pennant, who 
is by far the most eminent of the exponents of the Welsh 
view. But it seems to me that the writer of this paper 



has scarcely made out a case in saying that there are no 
additions to Pennant worth having in the present day. 
I think that Pennant has been entirely re-written by 
modem research, and if that research has been carried 
out in, I admit, rather a partial and Saxon spirit, it seems 
to me that the natural conclusion is that Welsh writers of 
the present day have neglected a good opportunity of 
giving a modem Welsh view based on research. The 
incidents of the massacres need not be dwelt upon ; I 
incline strongly to the opinion that in this instance one 
side was as bad as the other. If you were to read the 
letters that have been printed by Mr. Solly Flood from 
Prince Henry, avowing, with his own pen, detestable 
severities which were exercised by the British army upon 
the helpless people, you would feel that the conquerors 
had as much to answer for as the subject population. 

A good deal has been said by our author as to the 
strategy employed by Owen Glyndwr. I think this is a 
very excellent point, and that very scanty justice has been 
done to the Welsh leader in respect of his strategy. I 
think that he was distinctly in advance of his time. Also, 
our author has reminded us that the art of war was then in 
its infancy, which is, in itseK, a very good point to make. 
Owen Glyndwr's strategy was a long way ahead of that 
of the royal commanders ; his mysterious disappearances 
alone are excellent illustrations of the sort of guerilla 
warfare which he waged so successfully. We must not 
forget that the Welsh at that time were fighting men 
from their youth upward ; they had been trained for two 
centuries, at least, as mercenaries in many battlefields of 
Europe, more particularly employed by the English kings 
from Henry II's time onwards. We meet with these 
Welsh mercenaries in the English army, and also in the 
English household, as men-at-arms and captains, the 


nucleus of a standing army which always followed the 
king. So that there seems to have been a kind of military 
trainings which must have proved very valuable indeed 
when a leader like Owen Glyndwr came forward. He had 
ready-made captains and sergeants at his call. Very 
much the same advantage was enjoyed by the Swiss 
patriots in their conflicts with the Austrian invaders. The 
Swiss had been the mercenaries of the continent, had 
learned the art of war, and had transmitted it from father 
to son, and they were a nation of soldiers in the same way 
that the Welsh were to a large extent ; and so they were 
able to beat the Austrians, just as the Welsh on several 
occasions were able to withstand the armies of Henry II 
and Heniy FV. These are very much matters of opinion, 
and not of great importance. I frankly told you that I 
feel at the present moment that the Saxon authorities 
have the best of the matter from a purely historical point 
of view. As to the question of the massacres then, we 
need say nothing, because it only amounts to mutual 
abuse, and as to the strategy I believe that Owen Glyndwr 
woidd have received higher praise from a purely military 

But our author has not written this paper without a 
serious historical thought, and this thought seems to me 
to be a very profound and valuable one, on the subject of 
the causes of the deep-seated opposition to the English 
and consequent national support of Owen Glyndwr. It is 
not enough to say that the Welsh had been for several 
centuries rebels and outlaws, men who would follow any 
leader in opposition to the English king and the Norman 
barons. It is not enough to say that at the beginning of 
the fifteenth century the native Welsh were as lawless and 
unsettled as they were of old. I insist on this, because 
the fifteenth century is admittedly the beginning of a new 

£ 2 


era, when the middle ages had practically come to an end ; 
when people did not merely fight for the love of fighting ; 
when there were more serious interests at stake; when 
commerce had a large roice in the affairs of everyday 
life, and agriculture was pursued as a serious science. I 
felt very strongly, as I heard the suggestions of our 
author, that he has hit upon the right explanation. It 
seems to me that the Black Death and the consequent 
agrarian changes are responsible for these national 
aspirations in South Wales at least. And South Wales 
is really the only part of the country which was affected 
in that way. Our author has been careful to distinguish 
between the pastoral country of North and Mid 
Wales and the agricultural districts of South Wales. Of 
course it could only have been South Wales that was 
affected by the Black Death working agrarian changes. 
The wealth of the country, in North Wales and Mid 
Wales, and to a large extent in South Wales, must at all 
times have been chiefiy in cattle. That would apply 
more or less, not only to the whole of Wales and the 
marches, but also to Scotland and the marches of Scotland, 
and to Ireland, down to the present day. When we read 
of the wars between the Welsh and Henry II, we find the 
war indemnity imposed upon the conquered is in the shape 
of cattle. 10,000 head of cattle were claimed by Henry II. 
So in these wars and rebellions of Owen against Henry IV, 
the chief wealth of the country, to judge from the 
captures made, was in cattle. But there is no doubt that 
the South of Wales had also considerable agricultural 
interests, and that there, as in England, the agrarian 
movement which followed the Black Death must have 
stirred the pulses of the people as no other cause what- 
ever could have done. The proverb about touching an 
Englishman's pocket applies also to a Welshman ; and the 


exactions claimed by the Marcher Barons from the 
prosperous Welsh peasantry, in the shape of signorial dues 
and feudal exactions, must have filled them with a deep 
sense of injustice, and with a desire to right themselves 
and to protect themselves. I seem to see in that a very 
reasonable explanation of the permanence of Owen 
Glyndwr's rebellion. Of course, it follows from this, as 
our author says, that the people of the South, which was 
more or less under the old land-law, were seen in the 
somewhat unamiable character of " blacklegs ". They 
hastened to make submission, while the people of the 
north and central districts were able to take to the 
mountains with their flocks. 

I think that this point which our author has brought 
forward, and very fairly sustained, may be looked upon 
as one of great historical importance. Perhaps it was 
foreshadowed by the recent Kterature of the Land Laws 
Enquiry, that is to say, the same investigations that had 
been carried out with respect to English agricultural 
communities when applied to Wales by a great economic 
historian are, I believe, sure to bring out some historical 
parallels. But I think our author is entitled to the credit 
— as far as I am aware — of being the first person to call 
attention to this very important point. He gives us^ in 
pursuance of these reflections, some interesting glimpses 
of Welsh record law^ merely as suggestions as to how 
this line of argument may be followed out. I think, 
myself, though I am not very intimately acquainted with 
Welsh records, that there is a reasonable probability of 
his opinions being fully confirmed by the results of an 
examination of Welsh manorial records. I think it will 
probably be interesting to you to know that the Welsh 
manorial records are a v^ery large and important class of 
economic records, and if the late Professor Thorold Rogers 


was able to prove in his great history of prices the 
greatest economic truths of our own time from a com- 
paratively limited area of manorial jurisdiction^ I think 
it would be possible to prove the suggestions that our 
author made to us to-night, and even more. 

There is one further point which struck me, but with 
which I do not feel myself to be quite so much in agree- 
ment, regarding the aspirations of the Welsh for the 
revival of their national laws. I feel that it is a delicate 
point, but I am looking at it purely from a dry historical 
standpoint. I think that the author is perfectly right, 
as well as acute, in his suggestion that we should study, 
not the feudalized Norman versions of the Welsh laws, 
but the pure sources of the Triads. I do not think it is 
possible otherwise to put ourselves into touch with the 
national aspirations. I do not mean to suggest that these 
national aspirations did not exist. We know, in the case 
of the Sassenach, that such aspirations existed in the 
Norman period. The Saxons were for ever appealing to 
the ancient laws of Edward the Confessor as the ideal of 
good government — ^the Golden Age, as our author has said 
— and when they were pleased with the Norman king 
they said to him, " Leges Eegis Edwardi nobis reddit," 
and when the Norman king wished to please his Saxon 
subjects he said, '^ Leges Regis Edwardi vobis reddo." 
These laws meant very little , they only meant some pious 
abstraction like even justice, equality of all classes before 
the law, like the threefold oath that was taken by Anglo- 
Saxon kings to uphold the ancient church, to maintain 
equal laws, and to administer even justice to all classes. 
Yet out of that very meagre formula the people were 
always able to supply a promise to redress all manner of 
grievances ; and from that threefold simple formula were 
evolved, first, the Coronation Charter of Henry I, and, 


afterwards, the text of Magna Charta itself. So I can 
quite understand and believe that the Welsh peasantry in 
Owen Glyndwr's time were eager and expectant of a 
restoration of the old laws, just as the Saxons, down to 
Henry II's time, were always looking forward to a 
millennium of Saxon laws, as administered in the time 
of Edward the Confessor. But I do not think that this is 
the real explanation of the permanent benefits resulting 
from Owen Glyndwr's rebellion, which is perhaps the 
most important consideration that we have to meet, that 
is to say, the after effects. I think that the economic 
after effects which our author has described so well were 
very permanent ; I mean that tenants got better terms 
from their lords, and managed to keep them, though I 
would not go so far as to say that there were no exactions 
or encroachments possible, or that when such were 
attempted they were always resisted and prevented. I 
have never met with any such happy state of things in my 
own historical reading before quite the close of the last 
century, either in England, or in Wales, Ireland, or 
Scotland. Still the permanent after effects, from an 
economic point of view, were very desirable. From a 
legal point of view I think that our author has omitted 
to notice the beneficial results of the Tudor despotism. 
He has told us in one eloquent passage that the Welsh 
expected much from the victory of Bosworth; that the 
Tudors were more or less pledged to recognise the claims 
of Wales, and I believe they did so ; at any rate Wales 
benefited by a new administration of the law, not a return 
to the Golden Age, to the ancient laws of the Triads, but 
an innovation superseding the common law by the 
beneficent jurisdiction of the king himseK. 

The Council of the President of Wales and the Marches 
has often been looked upon as an instrument of oppression, 


but I beUeve that to the Welsh of that time it was a 
means of salvation. The Crown stood between the people 
and their oppressors, even justice was done under its 
strong hand. All the tyranny of the small Baronial Courts 
was checked if not completely put an end to. It was 
curiously enough alleged by many contemporary English 
writers that the Welsh were too many for their English 
neighbours ; that the average Welshman of the period 
was much smarter as a man of business, and more ad- 
vanced as a farmer, and altogether that the Saxons who 
came in contact with the Welsh required to be protected 
from them. Each side had its own point of view, then 
the Crown intervened successfully, I believe ; and that is 
why this Court, which, with a curious historical reminis- 
cence of the Mortimers, had its headquarters at Ludlow, 
was able to keep order without any further tumults, until 
the necessity for its good offices ceased with the overthrow 
of the personal despotism of the Stuarts. 

I have offered these few remarks, which I fear are 
rather desultory in character, not with any hope of throw- 
ing new light upon the paper, but merely to indicate my 
own individual feeling of its truly historical character, to 
set as it were the note which I hope will be followed in 
the present discussion. When we get a paper that con- 
tains so much true and valuable history it seems to deserve 
an historical elucidation from those who discuss it. 

Postscript by "Owen Ehoscomyl". 

November 17, 1897. — Reading the close and sym- 
pathetic remarks of the Chairman, I feel that a few words 
of explanation may bring us even nearer together. 


The paper, then, was written as by one Welshman 
writing to other Welshmen, and therefore taking count 
only with that mental picture of Glyndwr which is 
common to the generality of Welshmen alike, since it has 
been absorbed from Welsh sources, chiefly, however, 
written in English. It would have been lenient enough in 
the Chairman to have spoken of my " belittling " the work 
of Mr. Wylie and Professor Tout, had the most vigorous 
of my phrases had those two patient scholars in view. 
But the wiiters intended were those — well known to 
Welshmen and ^11 but absolutely unknown to Englishmen 
— who followed Pennant at home with "Lives" and 
" Memoirs " of Glyndwr. Such, for instance, as " The 
Eev. Thomas Thomas, Rector of Aberporth, and Perpetual 
Curate of Llanddewi Aberarth". I do not say that he 
was worse than another ; I merely use him as a name to 
symbol the type because he happens to come up readiest 
in my mind. His " Memoirs " may stand for the rest ; 
" all elegant, deprecating, apologistic and — unspeakable ". 

It was this sort of thing I meant by " Welsh-English 
literature ", and these gentlemen whom I meant by 
" dilettante ". And in going on to say of Mr. Wylie that 
'^one would get an inadequate idea of Glyndwr did he 
stick to Wylie alone ", as also in saying that in looking 
at Glyndwr through the eyes of Professor Tout, one " was 
still looking at him through alien eyes, though eyes more 
appreciative than might have been expected", I had no 
thought of impugning their scholarship or impartiality. 
What I had in my mind was that there are many hints 
and indications in the printed history of Glyndwr, whose 
significance is almost wholly lost upon a " Saxon " or other 
" outsider ". And this not from any inability to seize and 
weigh evidence, but because these indications are of a kind 
whose pregnancy can only be recognised at a glance by 


a Welshman, who knows, from a hundred unnoted and 
unstarred sources, what wide and potent under-influences 
are called and gleam into recognition from perhaps a 
single phrase, or even one word in a printed line ; a word 
to the outsider standing dark and dumb of all inner 

There is not space here to go into the ethical supports of 
this last contention, neither, probably, is it necessary, since 
I think that the Chairman, representing sympathetic Eng- 
lish students, will see now what was intended. As to 
ignoring Sir James Ramsay's work — unfortunately it was 
not available at the moment of writing, and so no mention 
was made of his name. 

In conclusion, great thanks are due to Mr. Hall for 
starting the discussion at so high a level, for the great 
object of the paper was to provoke thought and study 
amongst us as to Owen's right to be regarded as our 
national hero in the historical sense, in contra-distinction 
to Arthur in the mythical sense. 

0. E. 





Rector of Nutfield, Surrey. 

In addressing myseK to .the subject of Welsh education, 
which has excited interest far and wide, and eKcited 
lively discussion during the last ten years, it will be felt 
that some explanation is due from me, for supposing that 
a question that has received so* much attention and been 
handled with so much skill and ability, leaves any room 
either for a disputant or an enquirer. It has roused 
public enthusiasm. It has commanded the services and 
self-sacrifice of the men of most light and leading in 
the land. It may seem, therefore, to argue uncommon 
hardihood on my part to treat the subject again. But 
the suggestions of a Chairman of Cymmrodorion, like 
Royal invitations, admit of no refusal, and, at the same 
time, the principles on which education must be conducted 
have ever possessed a hold upon my mind. So it will be 
my endeavour to present an aspect of the subject which, 
to the best of my recollection, has never been dealt with 

When we look over the surface of Wales to-day, and see 
the country studded with elementary schools, forming 
the foundation of the educational edifice, surmounted 

^ Address given at the meeting of the Cymmrodorion Section of the 
National Eisteddfod, held in the Town Hall, Newport (Mon.), 2nd 
August, 1897. Chairman, the Mayor of Newport (Mr. Alderman 


by intermediate schools elaborately equipped, and a 
National University forming the coping-stone, we are 
naturally inclined to claim that we have in Wales 
an educational Utopia. Undoubtedly there would be 
warrant for the claim, if perfection were possible, even 
theoretically. We find in pur youth, and, indeed, in our 
countrymen generally, an ardent passion for culture, and 
recently a wave of enthusiasm for education has passed 
over this country which few others could parallel. We 
find enough evidence of talent in the past and present 
generations. We find excellent educational machinery, 
and have so graduated our institutions that now the horny- 
handed sons of toil can climb, rung by rung, up the 
educational ladder. We have profited by the experience 
of other countries. There is another consideration — and 
this is a matter for no small congratulation in Wales — our 
aspirants to titular avalanches after their names will no 
longer have to depend on the generosity of Transatlantic 

But we are still in a transition state. This is but 
natural. Education is an evolution, an organic growth. 
You cannot drop down a university or system of inter- 
mediate schools, spick and span, and expect it to work 
perfectly smoothly, and compass all that you desire at once. 
You cannot produce graduates all at one stroke, fitted for 
the work that Wales expects at their hands, as the goddess 
Athene, m the Greek myth, is said to have sprung up, 
lance and shield in hand, from the head of Zeus. Rather, 
they must expand according to natural laws, and while we 
expect great things from our system of education, and 
look forward to seeing the Welsh University equal to any, 
outside Oxford and Cambridge, yet it takes time ; there 
may yet be dangers and difficulties in the way. Not that 
I doubt of success for an instant. On the contrary, I am 


sanguine, and rejoice at the progress that has been made. 
Not that I intend, on the other hand, indulging the 
imagination in painting to myself extravagantly glowing 
pictures of what Wales will be fifty years hence. But the 
present time seems to be opportune for pressing home one 
or two things that have forced themselves upon my notice, 
and now, when — I say it with mingled feelings — my 
present position, without abating my interest in these 
matters, admits of my detaching myself more, and viewing 
educational matters in Wales with a better perspective, 
perhaps some advantage may accrue from playing the part 
of a whetstone. It will be my purpose to-night, so far as 
I am able, to hold up the mirror to you, and, without 
attempting to say anything strikingly novel, to point out 
the significance of what has been done of late, and the 
desirability of preserving the best features in Welsh insti- 
tutions, Welsh character, and Welsh genius, and yet not 
miss the benefits bestowed by a study of education in 
other countries. At least, it is not too much to hope, 
even at this day, that intelligent Welsh patriots may 
learn something from educational experiments in England 
and abroad, when Sweden, Belgium, Holland, and 
Germany, have, for a number of years, taken a lively 
interest in the progress of English education, ay, when 
Wales herseK can point to zealous students of her 
language and literature at the Universities of Paris, 
Zurich, and Leipzig. 

It may be instructive, therefore, in view of welding 
together and developing the new machinery that has come 
into being in Wales, to enquire dispassionately : — 

1. — What is the place of Welsh education among the 
educational systems of Europe ? 

2. — How are the recent changes likely to affect the Welsh 
mind ? 


To these two questions I shall address myself in succes- 


It must be obvious to every one that education follows 
certain laws, that there is an evolution in theories of 
education. Quod fit id fist expresses a truth in education ; 
and one point that I would bring home to you is this— 
that Wales has been passing through the same phases of 
thought in regard to education as marked the progress of 
education elsewhere years and years ago. Germany is the 
classic ground of education. It is interesting to observe 
how its history has repeated itseK in various countries one 
after another. This would form an interesting subject 
for a lecture in itself. Here suffice it to say that Wales at 
present^ as regards her educational position, more closely 
resembles the Continent than England does. Yet it is 
distinguished from it, and for convenience we may 
confine ourselves to the two countries, Germany and 
France, whose educational history is rich in suggestion 
and warning. One great difference between education in 
Great Britain and in these Continental countries lies in 
the deep seated prejudice entertained in this country 
against state interference. While, on the one hand, in 
France and Germany the whole of the machinery is guided 
and directed by a Minister, and is, in France mechanical, 
in Germany more elastic, in Great Britain, on the other 
hand, greater scope is offered to individual or local enter- 
prise, in other words to Free Trade in matters educational. 
The consequence is, that, whereas foreign countries gain 
by a general symmetry, with us freer play is allowed to 
the various elements; they ensure uniformity, we en- 
courage midtiplicity. But valuable as this principle of 
laissez faire is in its application to educational methods^ 


it must be admitted that it carries with it disadvantages 
alsoi It carries this fact for one — ^that, whereas in 
elementary schools no teacher can be allowed to teach 
without a diploma testifying to his knowledge and 
capacity, yet in a secondary school the children of the 
middle classes often have been left, and, indeed, are 
handed over to the tender mercies of persons possessing 
no guarantee of fitness for the office. The Germans have 
changed all that, and, in effecting this desirable change, 
in insisting on proper qualifications for teaching in 
secondary schools, they have at the same time elevated 
education to a proper dignity. These details must suffice. 
Upon the whole it may be said that while Germany, and, 
to some extent, France have much to teach us, yet a 
cast, iron system is probably out of harmony with British 
traditions and genius. 

Underneath the differences that exist between Great 
Britain and Continental countries, differences partly racial, 
partly historical, and, in spite of the kaleidoscopic changes 
that education has witnessed of late years, two trends of 
thought are distinctly discernible. The two trends lie 
respectively in the direction of ^^ Liberal Education " on the 
one hand, and " Useful Studies '^ on the other. In some 
countries (for example in Germany to a great degree) 
the two principles have intersected and clashed, and then 
run parallel to each other ; in England and Wales they 
have intermingled and combined. The two terms hardly 
require any explanation. Liberal Education consists in 
drawing out the capabilities of the human being to the 
utmost ; in other words, it is the fullest development of 
the individual. It is what Oxford and Cambridge have 
professed to give since the two universities woke up from 
their medisevalism, a stigma indeed which a recent Dutch 
writer has not hesitated to attach to them to-day. It has 


formed the staple of education in most of our great public 
schools, till they, too, were reformed to meet the exigencies 
of the nineteenth century and the whips and scorpions of 
examiners. , 

Meanwhile another spirit was asserting itself. Utili- 
tarianism arose to denounce the old order of things, and 
clamoured for useful studies, as it called them — studies 
which would pay, which would bring direct profit. It 
insisted that education should be confined to some 
particular and narrow end, and should issue in some 
definite work, which can be weighed and measured. Its 
advocates argued as if every thing, as well as every 
person, had its price ; and that where there has been a 
great outlay, they have a right to expect a return in kind. 
This they called making education and instruction 
^' useful ", and ^' utility " became their watchword. With 
a fundamental principle of this nature, they very naturally 
went on to ask, " What is there to show for the expense 
of a university ? What is the real worth in the market 
of a liberal education ? on the supposition that it does not 
teach us definitely how to advance our manufactories, or 
to improve our lands, or to better our civil economy ; or, 
again, if it does not at once make this man a lawyer, 
that an engineer, and that a surgeon ; or, at least, if it 
does not lead to discoveries in chemistry, astronomy, 
geology, magnetism, and science of every kind.^ " Under 
these auspices modem science, with her wonted arrogance, 
strode into the field, and imperiously demanded elbow- 

Now, those of us who have enjoyed the opportunity of 
obtaining a liberal, or, in other words, a philosophical 
education — ^for that is what the classics in their wider 

^ Cf, Newman, Lectures on University Studies^ p. 151. 


sense ought to impart — would join issue with this school. 
True, the increase of physical enjoyment and social com- 
fort is eminently desirable, is absolutely necessary. But 
education surely means much more than that. Education, 
in the opinion of the mere utilitarian, is little better than 
the whole duty of man as defined in irony by Goethe : — 
8ich emähren, kinder zeugen und sie nähren. It is to 
reduce the human being to the level of an animated 
machine; to teach him to eat and drink and lie down 
again. But to controvert these assertions against a liberal 
education would carry us far afield to-night. The point 
that I want to make clear is that this rivalry, sometimes 
amounting to a conflict, exercised a profound and powerful 
influence over the history of education everywhere, and 
has a very direct bearing upon the educational position in 

Formerly the Lycees of Trance, the Qymnasia of 
Germany, and the Grammar Schools of Great Britain, 
were dominated by the humanists, as the votaries of a 
liberal education called themselves. But the advent of 
the nineteenth century rang the death-knell of the old 
system. France raised the standard of revolt, and led the 
way with her Polytechnics. We cannot but think that 
this emancipation (as they would call it) was the legiti- 
mate offspring of the French Revolution. Certain it is 
that this change synchronised with revolutionary move- 
ments. But time brought its revenges. France repented 
in dust and ashes, and returned for awhile to the paths 
of Greek and Latin. France, however, from time to 
time has oscillated from one side of the compass to the 
other, and since the year 1880, when M. Jules Ferry's 
star was in the ascendant, the current has set rather in 
the direction of the Revolution. The enseignement special 
organised in 1866 as a preparation for an industrial, 



agricultural, and commercial career, is no onger content 
with the modest role marked out for it by its originator, 
M. Victor Duruy. But here comes in an important point, 
a point which possesses a decided significance for a people 
that has so pronounced a bias towards humanistic studies 
as the Welsh. Throughout the war waged between the 
humanists and realists Latin maintained its hold on public 
favour, and at present it exercises a powerful influence. 
So popular is it apparently that if the heads of the 
University attempted to abandon it, many would leave 
the lycees and enter the Jesuit schools, where the education 
is based on the worship of the masterpieces of classical 

But it is to Germany that we must look for the soundest 
solution of the difficulty as yet attained, though it is far 
from perfect. Three decades ago, the Prussian Minister of 
Public Instruction said, " The Realschulen will knock at 
the doors of the University, and admittance will not be 
denied." In 1870 and 1871, just at the time when the 
indemnity paid by the French afiEorded the sinews for 
the work, and, curiously enough, when Board Schools 
were instituted in this country. Von Bethmann Hollweg's 
prophecy was fulfilled. Ever since that time the move- 
ment has steadily gained ground. William II has 
proclaimed strongly in favour of the real studies; 
technical instruction has advanced by leaps and bounds, 
and, what is particularly interesting to us at this juncture, 
German manufactories have been based upon a scientific 
training. Yet, in Germany, it is very noteworthy (and I 
emphasise this in view of the characteristics of the Welsh) 
a liberal education still predominates. It is a fact that 
only one-third of the teachers and students devote them- 
selves to mathematics and the sciences of nature ; the 

^ Educoitimal Beviem^ ii, p. 173. 


other two-thirds are engaged upon classical^ oriental, and 
modem philology,* archseology, history, political science, 
and moral philosophy. The following document' is a sign 
of the times, and ought to be instructive to us. It is this : 
— ^In 1880 a memorial was addressed to the Prussian 
Minister of Education relating to the admission of pupils 
from these Realschulen to the Universities, and the 
unanimous opinion of the University of Berlin, embodied 
in this memorial, was favourable to a classical education. 
Notice some of the names ; the most distinguished scientific 
men are represented : — HofiPmann the chemist, Helmholz 
the physicist, Peters the naturalist, Zeller the philosopher, 
Mommsen the classical philologist, Zupitza the English 
philologist, and Curtius the historian-r-truly a galaxy of 
genius, and paragons of learning. What do they say? 
They insist upon the importance of classical studies in 
cultivating "the identity of the scientific sense", which 
embraces much more than the science of nature. " The 
interest in science," they proceed, " is not dependent upon 
nor limited by practical aims, but ministers to the liberal 
education of the mind as such, to the many-sided and 
broad exercise of the thinking faculty." ^ 

Thus far France and Germany. England lagged far 
behind; but Wales has been awakened, and England is 
becoming alive to the necessity of provision for the useful 
studies, in the narrower sense of the term. The question 
has been keenly debated for a great many years. An 
acrimonious discussion was conducted in the Edinburgh 
Review at the time when Oxford was reformed to meet 
the necessities of the age, and the contest was sustained, 
on one side by Professor Playfair, Lord JefiErey, and 

^ This term includes much more than the science of language, and 
may be said to be synonymous with general classical culture. 
^ Quoted in Sonnenschein's Ideals of Cultiire, p. 2. ® Ibid.f p. 62. 

F 2 


Rev. Sydney Smith, on the other by Copleston and 
Davison, of Oriel. But, in reality, the movement dated 
from a much earlier period, from the time of Lord Bacon, 
to whose ideas an impulse was afforded by Locke. 
Natural science, which has for some unaccountable reason 
arrogated to herself the title of Science, has g^radually 
won her way to public favour. To Cambridge she has 
given the prevailing tone. At Oxford she is no longer 
looked upon aa a parvenu and given the cold shoulder. In 
our University colleges she has more provision made for 
her than the time-honoured and modest Classics. 

These two tendencies, then, have made themselves felt 
during the last hundred years her© and on the Continent, 
and they have received an accession of strength, or, viewed 
from another standpoint, issued in various ways. The 
first that may be mentioned is the adoption of a more 
natural method of training. At length it has been 
recognized that boys, and girls, and youths, are not 
mechanisms but organisms; that education must follow 
as Nature dictates, from the lower faculties to the higher, 
beginning with the memory, advancing to the imaginative 
faculty, and afterwards forming, stimulating, and bracing 
the intellectual powers. It may not be beneath the 
dignity of the grave aoademicians that I see around me 
if I seek an illustration from Elementary Education. 
What really is the meaning of the method initiated by 
Festalozzi and refined by Froebel, but this principle on 
"which I am dwelling, a principle for which they fought 
and ti>iled in the face of active oppositiou — they knew 
the strength of prejudice and the penalty of innovation — 
a principle that ha^ now gained recognition in civilized 
countries, namely Kindergarten? It is to develop the 
child mind along the lines laid down by nature ; it is to 
study the individuality of the child ; it is that we must 


not stretch the tender mind on a procrustean bed, nor 
force it into a contracting suit of intellectual armour, 
without care whether it fits or not. " Whatever is nature 
is evil," this, stated somewhat badly, was the dominant 
idea for centuries. The long school hours, the rigid 
discipline, the barren teaching, the dreary lesson books, 
were in direct antagonism to every natural and healthy 
desire, and produced an intellectual dyspepsia, while the 
love of learning was intensified by frequent, and not 
seldom merciless, castigation, as the wife of Dr. Syntax 
expressed it : — 

" Gome a few welcome pounds to earn, 
By flogging boys to make them learn." 

Well, we are changing a good deal of this, not only in 
elementary schools, but in public schools and universities. 
This is one of the things that have lent support to the 
movement towards utilitarianism in education, and, gentle- 
men, Pestalozzi and Froebel were right. Education, 
especially in the earlier stages of growth, must ever keep 
in view the great principle that its highest object is the 
mental and moral elevation of all that is best and 
noblest in the powers and character. Teaching may still 
seem to fall short of this ideal. It should, however, 
always aim at the orderly symmetrical evolution of all 
the higher powers and tendencies in human nature, and 
unfold them in their just proportions. 

Another strongly marked feature of educational 
progress which has contributed to the increase of useful 
studies, consists in the attention drawn to the great 
principle of evolution which lay behind, and was partially 
expressed in Darwinism. This theory, whether accepted 
or not, and whatever weak points it may contain, yet still, 
completing as it did the investigations of Cuvier and 
Bichat, and itself applied by Spencer and Bagehot to a 


wider range of studies, produced a wide and profound 
efiEect. Not only has the principle been recognized con- 
ditionally or unconditionally in scientific circles, but it 
has placed Biology in the front rank among departments 
of study, and has exerted a corresponding influence upon 
the history of civilization {Kvlturgeschichte) and other 
sciences less closely related. 

Then, again, the general adoption of the comparative 
method, which contains the quickening germ of progress, 
has a wide bearing and far-reaching effect. Initiated, it 
may be said, by Montesquieu, in the province of the 
philosophy of history, and applied to other domains of 
thought by Turgot and Niehbuhr, it has exploded many of 
the notions formerly cherished in the field of ethnology, 
mythology, and the sciences of language and education. 
It has at once widened the sweep of vision by offering a 
more comprehensive survey of the encyclopaedia of 
knowledge, facilitated research in each branch of specu- 
lation by the flood of light let in upon it from other 
sources, and stimulated specialists to a deeper enquiry into 
one particular science. Nor must we forget the immense 
impulse that the utilitarian movement has afforded to the 
cultivation of modem languages, and the reflex influence 
exerted by them in turn upon the movement itself. Ever 
since the age of Bacon, the true founder of realism in edu- 
cation, and the time of Locke and Milton, all of whom re- 
belled against the dry formalism that prevailed in English 
education in their day, the current has set steadily in the 
direction of modem languages. Sixty years ago they 
found in Combe an eloquent advocate. Since then, im- 
proved international intercourse, the popularity of travel, 
the rise of the South American States, the contact with 
neighbouring races in the colonies, " rumours of wars " 
— all these have conspired to raise the study of modern 


languages now to the position of a mental science. And 
who better fitted for their study than the coining genera- 
tion of Welshmen, who, possessing strong linguistic 
faculties, improve their powers by the cultivation of two 
languages side by side ? 

Now that I have placed before you some of the facts 
and features of recent developments in education, 1 ask 
What is the lesson we learn from them ? All this means 
that the studies in European and American schools and 
universities are being adjusted. It means this also, that 
while these so-called useful studies are indispensable and 
they are now put on a right footing, yet the foundation 
must be laid in a liberal education. Thus it comes about 
that, as in tlie physical frame the growth of one part may 
exceed the growth of another, so in intellectual life now 
one side may be developed abnormally, now another, till 
at last they are duly proportioned and equilibrium is 
secured. To this tendency Wales forms no exception, and 
here lies the problem that awaits solution in the Wales of 
the immediate future. It is that you have to reconcile 
these studies and preserve the balance ; and upon the way 
in which this question will be solved there depends no less 
than the alteration of the whole character of our race. 

Without presuming to anticipate the decision to which 
the public will inevitably be brought, I venture to say 
that no devotion, no proficiency, no success in these 
modem studies can compensate for the lack of a liberal 
education, if these useful studies, while casting int^o 
solution cherished traditions and, ennobling ideas that 
have proved the mainstay of nations and the main- 
spring of progress, put nothing in their place. It 
matters little to be told how many folds there were 
in the brain of the author of Hamlefs Soliloquy. It 
does not tend very much, you know, to cultivate the 


afiEections, which must be still a part of education, to 
assure the fond mother that the prehensile power dis- 
played by her angelic Algernon, is a survival of the agility 
of his ancestors in swinging from tree to tree in the 
primaeval forest. Ladies and gentlemen, I tell you what 
is becoming the besetting sin of studies at the present 
day in schools and in colleges — overspecialising. Through 
exclusive devotion to one pursuit, the seeker after truth 
in his own line becomes intoxicated and dizzied by his 
favourite hobby, and loses sight of the unity of knowledge. 
Neither are the classical, nor, indeed, any studies free 
from the charge : classics, history, and others, are 
equally prolific of pedants. Unless the mind is trained 
at some stage or other to view the circle of knowledge as 
a whole, the unity of knowledge is missed. Give the 
accentuation of modem studies, to the neglect of others, 
what name you like ; call such a training useful, if you 
please — ^useful, inasmuch as it brings in immediate and 
direct reward in some shape or other ; call it science, if 
you prefer the term, but do not call it a liberal or 
philosophic education. 

But more than this. Nowhere would a partial train- 
ing be more detrimental than in Wales, for this reason. 
Bear in mind that the great object of a liberal education 
is to see the whole in the constituent parts, to see the 
spirit that binds them together. Remember that the power 
of grasping this spirit that binds them together is the 
method of poetry. Every one must feel that the Welsh 
mind is essentially poetical, that is to say philosophical, 
for philosophy is only poetry in undress, and as we must 
have often observed before this, for instance, in Plato and 
Tennyson, philosophy and poetry go hand in hand. 
Every one must feel that to run counter to the natural 
tendencies, to give a false bias to the Welsh mind, not to 


develop natural aptitudes, not to allow schools and 
colleges scope to work independently, would be sacrificing 
much to obtain small benefits in exchange. 


This introduces me to the second point that I proposed 
for discussion. It will not take as long as the other. We 
proceed to ask. What results are likely to accrue from this 
diffusion of this new education, which we have been con- 
sidering, to Welsh character and Welsh life, and to social 
progress, with which, naturally, education has an intimate 
connection ? 

In the first place, let me say a word about a few of the 
general effects, and then proceed to consider briefly some 
of the consequences that will ensue to particular branches 
of study. 

rirst, then, as to these more general aspects of the 
question. There is no *doubt to my mind that Wales has 
suffered from isolation, and to this may be ascribed 
some of our peculiarities and (may I say?) angularities. 

Under the shadow of the University College of Wales 
I am told that the following incident took place. A tramp 
had stolen off a hedge an article of attire (which Vergil 
would have described as a non enarrahile textum). The 
owner gave chase, and to elude his pursuers the latterday 
pilgrim jumped over a quarry and met his death. Next 
Saturday afternoon crowds streamed to the scene of the 
accident. Among them were two men, and they were 
talking about the accident. ^^Dyma lie lladdwyd y dyn^^^ 
said one in the hearing of a cottager who lived close by 
and was an authority on the subject. ^' Nage" in- 
terposed the old lady, " nid dyn oedd o — Sais oedd o.'^ 
But I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the story. What- 
ever may be said to the contrary, a want of knowledge 


of our neighbours^ of opportunities for measuring 
ourselves beside others, has bred rather a sensitive, 
and sometimes morbid self-consciousness. To this 
we may trace no small measure of that lack of con- 
fidence which has resulted in Welshmen holding aloof 
in a half jealous, half timid, seclusion. Now in education 
I see the remedy. I see the earnest of this self-reliance 
that we have longed for in the cluster of successes that 
have been achieved at Universities. I see it in the cir- 
cumstance that important educational posts in England 
and Wales are held by Welshmen. I see it in the fact 
that Welshmen occupy some of the principal pulpits in 
England ; indeed, I may say they enjoy more or less a 
monopoly of them. In short, while preserving, as I hope, 
all that is noble, all that is beautiful in Celtic character, 
though, perhaps, on the other hand, involving to some de^ 
gree a loss of individuality, education will break down the 
barriers and make Welshmen more citizens of the world. 

Another general effect that will flow from the progress 
of education will be the development of trade and com- 
merce. It may appear from what has been said that I 
have been inclined to depreciate the more practical studies. 
Ear be it from me to detract from them — ^provided they 
know their place. Newport and Cardiff would in them- 
selves be a sufficient refutation of any attempt to disparage 
such pursuits. We contrast a liberal or philosophic 
education with a commercial education or a professional, yet 
no one can deny that commerce and the professions afford 
scope for the highest and most diversified powers of mind. 
It is gratifying to find, too, how many of our fellow- 
countrymen have succeeded in trade and commerce. 
Thinking that it might interest you, as it certainly 
interests me, I have made some enquiries of Major Jones, 
late United States Consul at Cardiff, about the position 


occupied in the States by Welshmen. He has furnished 
me with interesting material^ the consideration of which 
in detail would carry me beyond the limits imposed 
upon me to-night. Apparently the experience of Welsh- 
men abroad — I say nothing about them at home, for 
to touch upon them here would be a presumption on 
my part — where constant friction with other races has 
struck out the sparks of originality, has amply demon- 
strated that the Welsh possess talents for the crafts and 
inventive powers equal to any. Thus, in America, there 
is a great demand for Welsh skilled labour ; a large 
proportion of high and responsible offices are held by 
Welshmen in industrial centres, especially in mining 
operations, and the new tinplate industry in the Cleveland 
hills. "On the Alleghanies, by Lake Superior, in every 
place where iron and coal are rich and smoke-stacks rise, 
you may find at the top hands bearing Dowlais Works 
credentials ; " and further, many important inventions owe 
their origin to natives of the Principality. It interested 
me greatly to find last year how Welsh workmen have 
invaded the dominions of the Czar; as you know, one 
town in South Eussia has been founded by a Welshman 
(a native of Newport), developed by Welshmen,, and chris- 
tened by the Russians Yusova, or Hughes' Town. Again, 
did time permit, I should like to read a letter from a 
friend, the secretary to a large school- in London, who 
comes into contact with large firms; he tells me, in 
brief, that he entertains a very high opinion of the 
business capacity displayed by the Welsh. No one will 
deny that Germany has been far ahead of us in technical 
education, and that the large sale of German goods — as 
Lord Eosebery, Mr. Williams, in his book Made in 
Germany y and others, have told us with more force than 
feeling — has inspired alarm. But now that we have in- 


termediate schools with an equipment of the first order, 
now that the door has been fully opened to a commercial 
career, we trust that a new era has dawned, and that 
Welshmen will take a prominent place in the development 
of British industries and the embellishment of life. 

There remains a third general effect — social and moral 
rather than mental — ^to which I may allude. It is this. I 
do earnestly trust that the spread of education will conduce 
to greater unity. Owing to the isolation, to which I 
referred just now, the consequent want of communication, 
and lack of opportunities for interchanging ideas, unworthy 
suspicions and recriminations have been bred. Education 
has ever exerted a humanising influence. Education has 
already brought us, geographically and socially, much 
closer together. Therefore it is not unnatural to indulge 
the hope that the sa3ring, ^^ Ni bydd duhun dau Oymro^^ 
will become obsolete, and that in future we shall more and 
more see ^^llygad yn llygad,^^ 

It remains for me to enquire very briefly what effect 
these educational developments will have upon particular 
departments of study and life. Their influence, it seems 
to me, is likely to be three-fold, but I have already touched 
upon the subject, and the discussion of it need not take 
me long. 

First, some studies will be developed, and others modified. 
Not only will the claims of rival studies be considered and 
respected, but they will affect each other. Take one case 
only. Not even the most Philistine Utilitarian will dare 
deny the use of the Classics, for in cultivating the ancient 
languages we are all the while laying an admirable founda- 
tion for wider culture, and this is nothing else but the 
liberal education of which we have been speaking. Still, 
the Classics will be obliged — I say it more in sorrow than 
in anger — to lower their pretensions. Formerly they 


enjoyed the monopoly of schools and colleges. Tormerly 
men swore by the infallibility of the Eton Grammar. In 
future the Classics will comprise a knowledge of the 
language^ art, literature, history, philosophy, palaeography, 
and mythology — all, in fact, that is comprehended in the 
German Alterthwmkmide. This is a solitary instance; 
several other branches of study will undergo some change, 
modification, or reformation. 

We pass on to another special effect, that is the 
preservation of valuable material, such as folk-lore, 
place-names, romance, and so forth, a wealth of which 
exists, but is now passing away, partly owing to the matter 
of fact materialism of the age, partly owing to Die Sión 
Dafyddiaeth, partly from a common dread of appearing 
singular or credulous. External circumstances have con- 
tributed to their decline, especially the glare of modem 
criticism. No institution, not even the Gorsedd, is safe, 
and now they talk of laying unnatural hands on the 
Eisteddfod also. There is folk-lore, in which you have 
simply to dip in your bucket and you bring up a store of 
interesting material. There are manuscripts lying on 
dusty shelves or in musty coffers, now consigned to gloom 
if not doomed to oblivion. There are place-names and 
dialectic varieties to be collected and examined by some 
competent hand, so far as they have survived the ravages of 
Time and the Ordnance Survey. So I look forward to the 
rise of some competent critic who, combining the sagacity of 
an Englishman with the lucidity of a Frenchman and the 
painstaking erudition of a Teuton, will do what Grimm 
has done for Germany, Cocheris for France, Paterson 
for Hungary, and Schoolcraft for the North American 
Eedskin, and rescue from oblivion these interesting 
survivals and monuments of our country's history. Why 
should not the Eisteddfod, if spared, be utilised for the 


collection of material to be sifted by properly trained 
philologists and mythologists ? 

And lastly, we picture to ourselves a time when fresh 
fields will be opened up by the alumni of our new 
National University, fields which have hitherto been un- 
developed and untrodden. True, great discoveries do 
not generally proceed from Universities themselves, for a 
University serves a different purpose. Its office is to 
communicate rather than to originate, and genius 
knows no law. Yet a preliminary training and un- 
folding of the intellect is necessary. And this brings me 
back to the point which I emphasised at the beginning, 
when talking of liberal or philosophical education. The 
highest ideal of teaching is that which leads the pupil 
along lines which an original discoverer has to pursue in 
his researches.^ And does not Wales lend itself to the 
godlike gift of origination ? Is there not an abundance 
of romance in Welsh chronicles, oidy awaiting a Welsh 
Walter Scott in the future to enter in and inherit it ? Is 
there not a heap of material in the story of Welsh life — 
as some of our budding novelists have discovered — ^in the 
mansion and the homestead, lying ready to the hand 
skilled in the art of characterisation ? 

But I must bring this discussion to a close. When I 
regard the advantages enjoyed by the youth of Wales, 
never dreamt of in generations gone by, and the fields that 
are open to their ambition and energies, I am amazed. 
Ladies and gentlemen, to whatever branch of study the 
Welsh student betakes himself — whether literary or 
scientific — he is a happy man, and I believe he will use 
his opportunities to the full. I may have said something 
that may perhaps be construed as derogatory — it is strange 
how your familiar friends nowadays will put false intei'pre- 

^ Sonnensohein, Ideals of Culture, 


tations and ascribe meanings and motives that you utterly 
repudiate — but I have said nothing but what is dictated 
by a desire to promote the welfare of Wales. I rejoice 
that the aspirations of my countrymen after education 
have been realised. I cannot forget the laudable love of 
knowledge and enlightenment that they have exhibited. I 
cannot forget their quickness of apprehension and im- 
pressibility, the vivacity of the Welsh temperament, the 
liveliness of Welsh writing, the perception of the beauties 
of nature, the poetic conception, the descriptive power, the 
luxuriance of style, the vigour of imagination. Seeing this 
happy combination of natural gifts and acquired qualities, 
the hope is kindled within me, no, the conclusion is 
irresistibly forced upon me, that this passionate enthusiasm 
and Celtic fire will increase in intensity, will burn with a 
yet brighter glow, and redound to the greater glory of our 
common country. 




I , 

^' ^- . . I 

w »• 


ì:' ^4^ 





' ,..' 44}^^^^^- 

^j^^^^^^^p" *" 





^— ^l^^^^^^^^^^^^^^l 








Insanitary and incomplete in many respects the old 
Manor Houses and Cottages of Wales undoubtedly were, 
but with all their defects they did not lack character; 
they stood four square to the winds, the rain and the 
sun. The thick thatch or heavy stone roof-covering 
supported on massive oak timbering defied the storms, and 
the massive walls stood unmoved through many genera- 

Many of these houses still stand, and had they been but 
reasonably cared for many more would have been extant. 
Such a house is that at Aberthun (Fig. 1 ^) built some 300 
years ago, and though it is now shorn of much of its 
beauty, it proclaims its nameless architect (who was 
probably a local master-mason) to have been a man of no 
mean ability. The house is by no means a repetition of 
others of the period, but similar in character, and skil- 

^ We are indebted to Mr. Sam Hayter, of Cowbridge, for the excellent 
photographs (Figs. 1 & 2) which are here reproduced, and to Mr. W. 
Thomas, the tenant and owner, for his kind permission to measure and 




fully adapted to the site^ which is situate away from the 
main county road from Cowbridge to Pontypridd, at the 
northern foot of the Stalling Down, in a little valley 
through which runs the sparkling little brook Thun, on its 
way to a confluent of the Thaw or Ddawen, which runs 
right across the town of Cowbridge. 

Let us examine the proceedings of the architect for a 
moment. On looking at Fig. 2, which is a back-comer 
view of the house, it will be seen that the ground rises 
rapidly at the back, and here the architect made a con- 
siderable excavation, although he had plenty of space 
without excavating, yet he chose to push his house as far 
as possible from the foot of the down. He planned his 
house as a letter T with a very short stem, the cross 
forming the long front, thus : — 

A A 


This plan enabled him to get plenty of light at A A for 
his numerous rooms. Now, if we turn again to Fig. 1 we 
shall see that the house is approached by a long path 
bordered by fine old clipped hedges; on the right is an 
ample kitchen garden, and on the left an orchard. The 
little brook already mentioned runs in front at right 
angles to the path, and is crossed by a low stone bridge, 
which forms an approach to what was once an exceedingly 
picturesque lodge, consisting of a central archway (with its 
massive doors and hinges still in position), over which 
there is a room. The archway was flanked originally by 



1 1 f" 1 > 

\ 1 

,^.,tW f^ 



two wings which might have formed two cottages, or, in 
the troublous times of faction and other fights, a cottage 
and small armoury. One only of the wings still stands, 
the other was taken down unnecessarily some time since. 
Between the brook and the foot of the down there is 
a rough parish road, from which the down rises abruptly. 
It will now be seen why the architect pushed his house so 
far into the rising ground on the other side of the valley. 
He wanted to utilise the whole width of the valley, about 
200 yards, to break the abruptness of the direct view 
of the Stalling Down, and to extend the lateral views ; he 
also desired that the full force of the sun should be 
concentrated upon his principal rooms. 

The undoubted care taken in selecting this site, away in 
a spot secluded from the main road (hence its being un- 
visited by "descriptive" writers) bears out Mr. Ellis's 
remarks as to the choice of a site. 

As to the architectural character of the building. The 
general aspect and grouping are pleasant. The three gables 
in the front are of good proportion and inclination, and 
could we but call to mind the thick stone roofing slabs — 
brought, doubtless, from Llantrisant, six miles distant^ — 
the parapets of the gables, with their well-moulded Sutton 
stone copings, the simple though well-proportioned finials, 
and the heavy stone ridge-covers, we should see a building 
not unworthy a master of the craft. 

The shorn verges of the main gables to the left and 
right, occasioned by the modern slated roof, give the 
house a bald, unfinished appearance, greatly unlike what 
it was as it left the hands of the architect. 

The house was built at a time when the four-centred or 
Tudor arch had become flattened almost to a straight line. 
The windows are all square-headed ; the heads of the 
doorways on the exterior, and tliose of the fire-places in 


the interior, only, have the arched form, and these of an 
exceedingly flat elevation. 

The windows are pleasantly disposed, and diminish in 
width as they ascend. This arrangement of windows 
seems to have been a canon of architecture in the olden 
days, and we modems might do well to follow so pleasing 
a feature. 

But the windows, for some reason or other, and though 
they abound in great numbers in every conceivable position, 
many being now walled up, are small, much smaller than 
windows of the same period elsewhere ; but, again, they 
are so placed, with regard to the rooms to which they give 
light, that the maximum of sunshine is obtained, and with 
this object in view they are set, as regards their heights, 
as nearly as possible in the centre of the wall, the sides 
having a good slope, as illustrated by the " roomy " 
window Pig. 5, taken from a house of the same period at 
Llantwit Major. The amount of light, as seen during a 
visit, was singularly ample and pleasant for so small a 
window. Nevertheless, the windows are small, and their 
square heads and somewhat characterless mouldings, show 
clearly the incipient decadence of domestic architecture. 
Some of the earlier four-centred windows at Llantrithyd, 
Llantwit, Coity, Trelales, and other places, have far better 
proportions and mouldings. 

Of course, the interior of the house is much altered. 
All the old fire-places are gone, save one or two in the 
attics. The old wainscotting is gone, but the massive 
staircase remains, with its three-inch turned balusters and 
six-inch and seven-inch square newels. 

The porch is roomy, and has on the inner side its 
original door. Over the porch is a broken sun-dial, similar 
to that over the archway of the entrance lodge. 

The chimneys show that the architect knew, as some 

AChimney. i6*Ct« 


1 5í*Cm(.f!«Plt.ce. Lnndo •. gh. 


^..i^ t > 






*■ ^' T\r\Tiir'n<amn a -wtì tì-pì^/^-d a mxirT? a -om xxr -ixtat.-cici " 



modems do to their cost, that smoke will not be played 
with. Uneasy, indeed, lies the head of the architect who 
leaves behind him a smoky chimney. 

The illustrations (Figs. 2, 3, and 4) show that the Tudor 
architects, whether in England or in Wales, were mindful 
to construct long chimneys, and in the Bast of England, as 
at Layer Marney, whence sketch Fig. 3 was taken, the 
excellent brick material lent itself to the '^ sinuous " play 
of architectural fancy. Fig. 4 is more like the Welsh 
work. It is from the Vicars' Close at Wells, in Somerset- 
shire, between the masons of which county and those 
of Glamorganshire and the border counties there was, in 
I mediaeval times, much intercourse. Vessels often crossed 

I the Hafren (Bristol Channel) laden with stone, and 

f often with men, hence the similarity of much of the 


The earlier fire-places were smaller at first, thus Fig. 6 
is a 13th century fire-place built in an earlier part of 
Llandough Castle, soon after the partition of Glamorgan 
among the Norman followers of Robert FitzHammon. 
The fire-place did not reach the ample dimensions of " T 
Fantell Fawr" until the Tudor period. There are some 
comparatively small fire-places to be found in some of our 
old castles, as at Raglan, Llandough, Llanblethian and 
Coity. Y Fantell fawr J or great mantel, was a prominent 
Tudor feature, and when the chimney came into general 
use it became a feature of our cottages, farm and manor 
houses, and was made large, mainly, because of the 
space required for the wood or peat fire, and for the 
accommodation of the great crock swinging on its iron 
crane, and for the great oven in the thickness of the wall 
at its side. The enormous thickness of the wall which 
carried the chimney gave accommodation for seats, on 


which, and on the settles drawn close up on winter nights, 
were gathered the family, the gossips and local bards, 
while the winds without would 

** blaw, 

And bar the doors wi' driving snaw," 

the tales within of wreck, ghost, witch, or great exploit, 
went round with many a quip and crank of repartee. 

The illustration Fig. 8 is the plan, and Fig. 7 is the 
elevation of a suggestion for modernising "y fantell fawr". 

A polygonal recess at the end of a large room or hall is 
framed in with a stout oak screen, which forms the great 
mantel. In the centre of the back of the recess is set 
a modem Teale fire-place, arranged for the burning of 
coal or wood on the hearth. The fire-place is immediately 
surrounded with stone and tile work, and a mantel-piece 
fitted with shelves and recesses for curiosities, those 
shown being drawn from illustrations of Italo-Greek 
sepulchral vases, published by Raffaele Grarguilo at Naples 
in 1831. On the sides of the inner mantel-piece and 
at right angles to the front, not seen in the elevation, but 
ghown on the plan, are handy recesses for books. It will 
also be seen that on either side are seats, and a reference 
to the plan (Fig. 8) will show their extent; and for 
comfort in reading, the two casements with lead glazing, 
one on either side of the fire-place, give ample light. The 
sketch of the helmet resting on the outer mantel is that of 
one actually found in an old hall in Norfolk. 

The Welsh motto, Btdded cabiad a Fptdd wbth Bob 
Aelwyd tm Mhbydain, has an f left out of the word 
ffydd. My friend, our good secretary, said I might defend 
the single f on the score of antiquity! But the defence 
would not be fair to antiquity, so we must let the blame 
rest on the proper shoulders. 







SESSION 1897-98. 








0tt0ttrable Jíüíietg of ^mmradurion, 

For the Year ending November dth, 1898. 

Pbesented to the Annual Meeting, held on Thübìsdat, 

17th of Noyembeb, 1898. 

The Council have the honour to report that during the 
past year 36 new members were added to the Society. 

Amongst the losses sustained by the Society during the 
twelve months the Council regrets to record that of Sir 
Edward Bume Jones, whose decease in June last deprived 
the world of a distinguished scholar and a great artist. 
The death roll also includes that of Mr. Thomas Owen, 
M.P., and the names of two of the oldest members of the 
Society, viz., Mr. George Thomas, of Ely, and Mr. William 
Jones, of Arthog. 

During the year the following Meetings were held in 
London, viz. : — 

November 18. — The Annual Meeting of the Membebs, held at the 

Society's Rooms. 
December 13.— The Annual Dinneb, held at the Hotel Metropole. 
Lord Justice Vaaghan- Williams in the chair. 
January 19— Paper on *• Early Welsh Bibliography," by Mr. J. H. 
Davies, M.A. 



March 9 — Paper on "John Wilkinson and the Old Bersham 
Ironworks," by Mr. Alfred Neobard Palmer. 

March 26th— Paper on " Welsh Folk-Music," by Miss Mary Owen 
(Mrs. EUis J. Griffith). 

April 20— Paper on " The Greater Wales of the Vlth Century," 
by Mr. Ernest Rhys (Bhys Ooch o Day fed). 

May 11— Paper on *' The Character of the Heresy of the Early 
British Church," by Mr. Fred 0. Conybeare, M.A. 

In Wales : — 

At the Assembly Eooms, Blaenau Festînîog, in connec- 
tion with the National Eisteddfod of Wales, 1898 
(Cymmrodorion Section), the following meetings were 
held :— 

On July 18th, 1898.— Addresses (in Welsh and English) on 
*' Technical Education in Wales," by Principal Roberts, 
University College of Wales (Aberystwyth) ; Mr. Lewis J. 
Roberts, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Rh^l; Mr. R. E. 
Hughes, H.M.' Inspector of Schools, Cardiff; and other 
Educationists : Chairman, Principal Reichel, University 
College of North Wales. 

On July 20th, 1898 (in the GlanypwU Board School).— Joint Meet 
ing of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, and the 
Society for the Utilization of the Welsh Language : papers 
(in Welsh) by Mr. E. E. Fournier, of Dublin (Negesydd 
o'r Yny8 Werdd)^ and Mr. Ernest Rhys (Bfiys Ooch o 
Ddyfed)t on " The Present Position of the Five Living 
Celtic Languages." Chairman : Principal John Rhys, M.A., 

It is a satisfaction to the Council to feel that these 
sectional meetings were more successful than any held in 
this connection for a great number of years, and shewed a 
distinct revival of interest in the questions brought 
forward from time to time for discussion under the 
auspices of the Society. 

The arrangements for the coming Session include : — ^A 
Symposium on the " Development of Welsh Industries/^ 
at which Lady Eva Wyndham-Quin will open a Discussion. 
A Paper by the Eev. S. Baring Gould, M.A., on the 


" Early Stone Fortifications in Wales and elsewhere," which 
will be delivered in the month of January. A Paper by 
Mr. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C., M.P., on "Some Aspects of 
Early Social Life in Wales," based on studies which the 
Lecturer and Principal Rhys have undertaken in connec- 
tion with a recent Welsh Governmental Enquiry. A 
Paper by Mr. Isaac Foulkes (Llyfrbryf), Liverpool, on 
" Hen Argraphwyr Cymru." A Paper on " Geoffrey of 
Monmouth," by Professor W. Lewis Jones, of Bangor, 
which it is hoped may lead to the issue of a new edition of 
the works of that writer.. 

It is proposed to hold the Annual Dinner on Monday, 
the 28th of November, and the Council have great 
pleasure in making known that the Eight Hon. Lord 
Kenyon (whose family were connected with this Society 
at its earliest inception) has accepted an invitation to 
preside on the occasion. 

During the year the following Publications have been 
issued to Members : — 

Part 2 of Owen*8 Pembrokeshire consisting of Collections (or 
Pembrokeshire— List of Pembrokeshire Manors — Catalogue 
and Qeneaiogy of the Lords of Kernes— Kernes Tracts — 
Inquisitio Post Mortem, William Owen and George Owen 
— The Description of Milford Haven— Milford Tracts. 
(Presented to members by the Editor, Mr. Henry Owen, 

Volume xii of Y Cymmrodor containing " The Court of the 
President and Council of Wales and the Marches from 1478 
to 1575," by Judge Lewis ; " Offa's and Wat's Dykes,'* by 
Mr. A. N. Palmer ; and a paper un '* Celtio Art," by Mr. 
T. H. Thomas, R.C.A. 

The Transactions for the Session 1896-7, containing the fol- 
lowing papers : — An Article on " Music in Wales," by Mr. 
Joseph Bennett ; *' Domestic and Decorative Art in Wales,*' 
by Mr. Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. ; *' Suggestions as to the Fuller 
Study of Owen Glyndwr," by Owen Rhoscomyl and Mr. 
Hubert Hall, F.S.A. ; and an address on ** Recent Develop- 
ments in Welsh Education," by the Rev. G. Hartwell 
Jones, M.A. 

• • • 


The Society is indebted to one of its Members, Mr. 
Robert Williams, F.R.I.B.A., for a series of Illustrations to 
the Article on " Domestic and Decorative Art in Wales." 

With regard to forthcoming Publications, the Council 
beg to report that the Transactions for the Year 
(which will shortly be issued) contains the following 
Papers: — "Early Welsh Bibliography," by Mr. J. H. 
Davies, M.A., with facsimile Illustrations of the Title- 
pages of the earliest printed Welsh Books ; and an Illus- 
trated " History of John Wilkinson and the Old Bersham 
Iron Works," by Mr. Alfred Neobard Palmer, the well- 
known local historian of Wrexham. Also the interesting 
Paper by Miss Mary Owen (Mrs. Ellis J. Griffith) on 
" Welsh Folk Music," as well as Mr. F. C. Conybeare's 
important Contribution to the "History of the Early 
British Church." 

For the first part of the New Series of Y Gymmrodor 
the following Papers are in course of production, viz. : — 
"A Bibliographical Account of the Works of Vicar 
Prichard," by Mr. John BaUinger, of the Cardiff Free 
Libraries ; a collation of the Welsh Manuscript Society's 
Edition of the Camhro-British Saints by Professor Kuno 
Meyer; and a number of original Documents from the 
Record Office illustrating the late Judge Lewis's article 
on "The Court of the President and Council of Wales 
and the Marches," edited by Mr. D. Lleufer Thomas. 

Considerable difficulty has been experienced by the 
Council in obtaining an absolutely accurate transcript 
of The Blxick Book of St. David^s. Arrangements have 
been made with Mr. W. K. Boyd (a well-known expert) to 
collate the Copy with the Text and to correct all errors of 
the press. It is to be hoped that the Text, together with 
Mr. Willis-Bund's translation, will appear early in the 
ensuing year. 

The Council have much gratification in announcing that 

definite arrangements have been made with the Rev. 
Professor Hugh Williams, M.A., of Bala, for the produc- 
tion of a new Edition of Qildas. The Text and the 
Translation are in the printer's hands and will be issued 
as early as possible as a first part. 

The second part will consist of an important Introduc- 
tory Essay by Professor Williams, dealing with the book 
and its place in Literature, the authors who make use of 
it and their object in doing so, the attempt to fix the 
approximate date of the work, the author's motives and 
aims, and the light thrown by the work on the Invasion 
of Britain by the Irish, Picts and Saxons, and the 
Christianising of Britain, and the story of its Church 

Considerable progress has been made by Mr. Edward 
Owen, F.S.A., with the Catalogue of Manuscripts relating 
to Wales at the British Musewm which he is preparing 
for the Society. The Council hope to issue the Catalogue 
in parts in the course of the ensuing year. 

The Council desire to record their special thanks to the 
Marquess of Bute (the President of the Society) and the 
Marchioness of Bute for the most generous and hospitable 
manner in which they entertained the Members at their 
London House at the close of the last Session. 

During the year the Cardiff Corporation, with the 
support of other Local Bodies, promoted a Memorial to 
Her Majesty the Queen in Council with the object of 
obtaining a recognition of the Armorial Bearings of Wales 
on the National Standard. The Council of this Society, 
being approached on the subject, expressed their willing- 
ness to give the movement such independent support as 
might be deemed expedient should the matter take a 
practical shape. Recently, however, in deference to an 
opinion expressed by the Marquess of Salisbury, in which 
he hoped that the question would not at the present time 

be pressed, it has been deemed inexpedient to take any 
further prominent action at this juncture. The Council 
hold themselves open, however, to render such assistance 
to the movement in the future as they may deem fit and 

With a view to assisting the movement recently 
initiated by the Welsh Industries Association, which has 
for its object the encouragement and development of 
Local Industries in Wales, the Council have arranged for 
the Meeting already referred to in the earlier part of this 
Report, and they trust that the Members will endeavour 
to show their appreciation of the efforts made by giving 
their presence at the Meeting. 

The Council desire to acknowledge the following presents 
received for the Library, viz. : — 

Volume I of Owen's PemhroTcesMre, being No. 1 of the Cymmro- 
dprion Becord Series, presented by tbe Editor, Mr. Henry 
Owen, F.S A. 

By-goneSt presented by Messrs. Woodall, Minshall and Go. 

Under the Society's Rules the terms of Office of the 
following Officers expire, viz. : — The President, the 
Vice-Presidents, and the Auditors, and ten members of the 
Council retire in accordance with Rule 4, viz. : — 

Henby Owen, F.S. A, 
IsAMBABD Owen, M.D., M.A. 
Egebton Phillimobe, M.A. 
John Bhys, LL.D., M.A. 
Fbedk. T. Robebts, M.A. 
H. Lloyd Robebts. 
R. Abthub Robebts, M.A, 
RiCHABD Robebts, B.A. 
J. RoMiLLY Allen, F.S. A. 
D. Lleufeb Thomas, B.A. 

The Financial Statement for the year is appended to 
this Report. 

S i 





j > 

W *l 



jÇonotttaBfe ^ocíeí^ of C^mnttroboríon 

SESSION 1897-98. 


By J. H. DAVIES, M.A. 


Of recent years considerable progress has been made in 
the study of Welsh Bibliography owing to the publication 
of the Cambrian Bibliography in 1869, and to the formation 
of great public libraries, such as those at Cardiff and 
Swansea. A large number of articles dealing with the 
subject have appeared at intervals in periodicals concern- 
ing themselves with Welsh or Celtic literature, and chief 
among these are the contributions of the Rev. Chancellor 
Silvan Evans and the late Rev. John Peter, of Bala. 
Nevertheless, a great deal remains to be done, and every 
year brings to light new and important facts which have 
hitherto escaped the notice of even the most ardent 
students of our literature. It is desirable, therefore, that 
these data should be preserved in such a manner as to be 
available for everybody who takes an interest in the sub- 
ject, and when one considers the practical difficulties which 
stand in the way of the publication of a new edition of 

* Bead before the Honoarable Society of Gymmrodorioa at 20, 
Hanover Square, on Wednesday, January 19, 1898. Chairman, Sir 

John Williams, Bart. 



Rowlands's Bibliography, it seems wiser to publish whatever 
is known, incomplete though it may be, in the pages of 
one of our numerous periodicals. 

These remarks will explain the somewhat sketchy nature 
of the paper which follows — as the writer has often been 
obliged to throw up a promising line of research owing to 
lack of time or opportunity, and has contented himself 
mainly with making additions to or emendations of the 
labours of previous workers in the field. He has also 
restricted himself to early Welsh books, and has not 
entered into the much larger field of eighteenth century 

The first and most interesting question to be settled by 
the student of Welsh Books is ; Which was the first book 
printed in the Welsh language, and who was the author 
of it? 

A glance at Rowlands's Bibliography will inform the 
reader that the first Welsh book was a Primer published 
in 1546, and supposed to have been translated either by 
Sir John Price, of Brecon, or by William Salesbury. But 
it is evident that neither Rowlands nor any of his corre- 
spondents had seen the book, so that little or no informa- 
tion regarding it can be gleaned from the Bibliography. 
Rowlands derived his information from the catalogue of 
Welsh books published by the Rev. Moses Williams in 
1717, and in connection with this he made a curious 
blunder. Moses Williams arranged his catalogue in 
alphabetical order, and placed books of a common nature 
under the same heading. In this manner he placed the 
Primer as the first book under the heading "Bible", 
indicating that its contents were mainly scriptural. 
Rowlands, however^ took the word Bible to be part of the 
title page of the Primer, and elaborately explains that it 
was printed at the top of the title page in large type so as 

y gicucncp bpnUu pç 
ffpäîättttiliB. V' 

yöcnffauOfíípí. ,: 
top äe bcinscu. 



to attract the attention of ignorant people. Subsequent 
writers have gone so far as to state that the Primer was 
in fact the first edition of the Welsh Bible, whereas it does 
not contain, with the exception of the Ten Commandments, 
any portion of Holy Writ. 
Its title page is as follows : — 

Yn y I Lhyvyr | hwnn y traethir | Gwydor kymraeg | 
Ealandyr | y gredo, ney bynkeu yr | ffyd gatholig | y 
pader, ney wedi yr Arglwyd | y deng air dedyf | Saith 
Rinwed yr Egglwys | y kampey arveradwy | ar gwydieu 
\ gochlad I wy ae keingieu | m.d. xlyi. 

It consists of sixteen leaves with a page of errata, and 
was printed by Edward Whitchurch, in London. Its main 
object was to teach the people to read the Welsh language 
correctly^ and to instruct them in the principles of the 
Christian Church. 

The first reference to the book is found in the Epistle to 
the Welsh People, 1567, written by Bishop Richard Davies, 
of St. David's. "To such an extent was the Welsh 
language neglected," says Bishop Davies, "that the 
printing press brought no Welsh books to the country 
until, of recent years, William Salesbury printed the Gospels 
and Epistles used in Church,^ and Sir John Prys, the 
Paternoster, the Creed and the Ten Oommandments.'^ 

Bishop Humphreys, in his Additions to Wood, also men- 
tions the book, and describes it as an Almanac, probably 
because it contained the calendar, together with other 
matter usually found in Almanacs. 

As before stated, Moses Williams^ in his Gofrestr, gives 
the title page of the book, and Ames also in his Typo- 
graphical Antiquities, 1749, gives the title page and a 
description of it. At that time a copy of the book was in 
the possession of Mr. William Jones, E.E.S., better known 

^ Published in 1551. 



as the father of Sir William Jones, the Oriental scholar, 
and from him it passed, with the remainder of Jones's 
library, into the collection of the second Earl of Maccles- 
field, at Shirbum Castle, where it still remains. 

There has been some difference of opinion aa to its 
authorship. Gwallter Mechain, Canon Silvan Evans, and 
Dr. Lewis Edwards were inclined to attribute it to Sales- 
bury, whilst Rowlands and the Bev. John Peter thought 
it the work of Sir John Prys. The latter were un- 
doubtedly correct in their surmise, for not only does the 
direct testimony of Bishops Davies and Humphreys support 
them, but the character of the language and orthography 
are totally distinct from those of Salesbury. In fact, were 
there no direct testimony in existence, one would be safe 
in asserting that the writer was a native of South Wales, 
from his use of words peculiar to Glamorgan and Brecon, 
and from the general character of his orthography. 

Sir John Prys, or Price, lived at Brecon, and was for 
many years the King's Attorney, taking an active part in 
that monarch's marital differences. He also acted as one 
of the Crown agents in the Suppression of the Monasteries 
and appears to have reaped a good harvest therefrom. 
His name constantly figures in the State Papers, and he 
seems to have enjoyed a portion of the King's confidence. 
The Historice Britannicce Defensio^ written by him in 
defence of ^^ Geoffrey of Monmouth'^, when the latter's 
history was attacked by Polydore Vergil, was his chief 
work, and was published after his death in 1573. 

The Primer of 1546 has an interesting introduction, in 
which Prys states that he was prevailed upon to publish 
the book, because of the large number of Welshmen who 
knew no language but Welsh. The book consists of a 
Preface by the author, directions how to read Welsh and 
how to sound the letters, a Calendar giving Saints* days 


with the feasts of many Welsh Saints, an Almanac for 
twenty years, information as to the changes of the moon, 
etc.; the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Command- 
ments, the Seven Virtues, the Seven Deadly Sins, together 
with other prayers and holy instructions. The greater 
part of the book is a mere translation of the English 
Primers of the time, but considerable additions have been 
made to the Calendar ; and the latter portion of the book 
may be an original contribution or an extract from some 
devotional work. 

The folloTring is a specimen of the additions made to 
the Calendar and inserted at the foot of each page : — 

" y mis hwnn tynn y mwsswng o dyar dy goed ffrwyth, torr y 
keingyey dyfyrlhyd, dod goed byw a choed rhos ar vath hynny, 
scathra a phlyg dy berth yn niwed y Iheuad, dod gyffion koed 
ievaink a cheingieu a chlwmmey yn y Ihawnlhoer," etc. 

These directions as to gardening and planting, irre- 
sistibly remind one of similar directions to be found in the 
Almanacs which emanate froin Caergybi and Aberteifi at 
the present time. There is one curious blunder or omis- 
sion in the book. Sir John purports to give the Ten 
Commandments (deng air deddyf), but he only gives nine 
of them, and curiously enough — ^when one remembers that 
Sir John received a goodly portion of the lands of the 
Welsh Monasteries, the one he omits is the eighth — " Thou 
shalt not steal.^' 

I have said that the Primer was the first Welsh book, 
but this is not absolutely certain, for in the same year, or 
very soon afterwards, William Salesbury published a book 
which bears the following title : — 

" Oil Synnwyr | pen | Eembero | y gyd | wedy r gynull, ei 
gynnwys ae | gyfansoddi mewn crynodab ddos | parthus 
a threfn odidawc drwy | ddyual ystryw | Gruffyd Hi- | 
raethoc prydydd o Wy- | nedd | Is-Conwy | 


This book was printed by Nicholas Hyll, but without 
date. It contains 64 pages. It has a long and interesting 
preface by William Salesbury, the remainder of the book 
being taken up with the Welsh Proverbs, collected by 
Gruffydd Hiraethog, a Welsh bard of the sixteenth 

Salesbury, in his preface, gives an account of the manner 
in which he had become possessed of Gruffyth Hiraethog's 
book. It seems that the bard and he travelled up to 
London together, and on the way Gruffydd allowed Sales- 
bury to read his proverbs. 

Tlie latter took advantage of the opportunity and copied 
it all out without Hiraethog's knowledge, afterwards 
passing it through the press. Incidentally, he suggests 
that it would be a good thing were other Welsh books 
purloined for the same purpose, as so many people would 
become possessed of a knowledge of Welsh literature who 
could never hope to become acquainted with it in any 
other way. 

It is an interesting fact that a MS. book of Gruffydd 
Hiraethog's proverbs, in what Mr. Gwenogvryn Evans 
thinks is the bard's autograph, is preserved at Peniarth. 
This may turn out to be the very book secretly copied by 

There is also in the British Museum, Add. MSS., 14,973, 
f . 47b, a collection of Proverbs by Gruffydd Hiraethog, 
but written at a much later date, probably between 1640 
and 1660. This manuscript has two prefaces by the bard 
himself, which are not found in the printed book, and as 
they are short and interesting I quote them in full : — 

*' At y ddiledriw voneddigaidd Vrutwn pwy bynDag fo. 

Och Dduw mor angharedig ag mor anatiriol vydd llawer o genedl 
gymru ag yn enwedig y rain a elont allan o derfynau i gauedig 
ddaiaren ai gwlad, pawb val i bo yr achos a ymgais ai arvaetb ; 
rai yu alluawl o gyfoeth er gweled a dysku moes ag arver tai a 



J^ì/edy rxynnUll^ eigynnloysd^ 
ÿyfanJòJäímeTi^n crynodah ddof 
farthus a threjn odida^c dr^y 
Jdyuiíl yJlryT». 

(HtttafÿD ^t^ 




llyssoedd brenhinoedd, dugiaid, ieirll ag arglwiddi, ag er kyfa 
adnabod bob gradd yn y radd ; eraill o dlodi ag eisie ant allan oi 
kenifinawl wlad ar obaith daioni wrth i fortun val i trefno i tengh 
edvennoedd. A phob an or rai a dariont nemor oddigartref yn 
kasau ag yn gollwng dros gof iaitb i ganedig wlad a tbafodiad i 
yarn gnawdawl, a hyny ellir i adnabod pann brofo yn wladaidd 
gantho draetbu Kamberaec ar lediaitb i dafod ag yn furssen er na 
chwbwl ddyskodd iaith arall, ni chroiw ddowaid iaitb i wlad i bun, 
ar hyn a ddoetto mor llediaitb vloesk lygredig ar ol iaith estronawl. 
Am y riw vath ddynion i traetha y burned ddihareb sydd yn decbre 

ar R. (Rwng y ddwy stol ir seth y i'r Uawr). Ag velly pa 

angbaradigrwudd fwu ar ddyn no gyrru i fam gnawdawl allan oi dy 
a Uetyfu estrones didras yn i He ? Nid kimmaint barn ar y neb a 
yrrodd adfyd ne dlodi allan oi wlad er abergofí anedigsetb ag ir 
neb sudd urddasawl a cbyfoetbig yn i wlad, i bwnnw i dele fod yn 
wladiddrwndd mawr gyfwrdd ag un gydnabod oi gydwlad beb vedru 
ymddiddan ag ef, fal i biase gynt. Oan byny disyfu ir wi er mwun 
Daw ach harddwch ych banain arferwch a mawrhewcb iaith ych 
gwlad y sawl sadd wyr urddasawl, canys gorau oi jaithodd ydiw. 
Gryfpyth Hiraethogg a scriveunodd y ddau lythyr bynn er 
ymgeledd ir Iaith Gymraegg : 

At y darlleudd. 
Ydolwg ag erfyn ddarlleudd boneddigaidd lie gweler y llyfr hwn 
yn anghwbwl ddyfygiol o reswm, gair, sylltaf ne lytbyren i wellbau 
a mawr ddiolch fydd kenyf am nad wyf yn tybied amgenach noi fod 
yn fyrr yn riw le ar fy mai i am angof , Ueoedd eraill ar fai y Uyfrau 
y tynnais o bonunt ar mannau bynn i gedewais i le yu wag iw 
scrivenu. Er vyned iaith y Cymru mor esceulus mae arwydd ar 
gadwraeth y llyfre mor anamal y kair dim yn gwbwl yndynt heb 
ddarn yn eisiau ar peth a golles yn y naill lyfyr a all fod yn y Hall 
i'w gael ag yn enwedig o ran y diharebion. Yr bain a gynillwud 
f wia drwy waith Mabiaith Hengrys o lal yr hwnn a alwe rai hefyd 
Bach Byddigre a Chatw Ddoeth a Gwiddvarch Gyvarwydd, a hen 
wyr da eraill blibh draphlith a hwynt yn ol i doetbineb hyd pann 
vyddent kadwedig wedi hwynt, i roddi dysk ir sawl a synniau 
arnunt. Canys krynodeb parablau llawer o synhwurau a chyngorau 
doeth rybudd a ddangossir ar fyrder ir neb ai deallo drwy synied 
yn y diharebion. 

This book, Oil Synnwyr pen Kembero, has been strangely- 
overlooked by Welsh bibliographers. Moses Williams 
does not mention it in his Gofrestr (1717), although it 
appears to have been in his collection^ but we may account 


for this by supposing that he came across it at a later 
date, and after his Cofrestr was printed. It is, however, 
mentioned by Ames in 1 749, and like the Primer it was 
then in William Jones's collection. Subsequently it went 
to Lord Macclesfield's library at Shirburn Castle, where it 
still remains. I should mention that both of these books 
are considered to be unique copies. 

It is unfortunate that Nicholas HyU did not place a date 
on the book, for it makes it difficult to determine the 
precise year in which it was published. Nicholas Hyll 
printed books from 1546 to 1553, but many of his books 
are undated, so that he may have started printing before 
1546. We have, however, further data to go upon, for in 
his preface William Salesbury, in apologising to the Welsh 
reader for publishing the proverbs, remarks that one John 
Heywood had made a collection of similar proverbs in 
English, and that Polydore Vergil, who Salesbury said was 
still living, had also made a collection of Latin proverbs. 

Now Polydore Vergil died in 1555, and the first edition 
of John Heywood's Proverbs was published in 1546^ : 
therefore the preface must have been written between 
those dates. Further, if we are to conclude that Salesbury 
is referring to a printed copy of Heywood's proverbs, as 
the context compels us to assume, then it is highly im- 
probable that Salesbury's book was published in the same 
year as that of John Heywood, viz., 1546. Taking these 
facts into consideration there can hardly be a doubt that 
the first Welsh book ever printed was the Primer of Sir 
John Prys, the Welsh Attorney. 

I shall pass over the two other Welsh books published 
by Salesbury before the issue of his Testament, as there 
are copies more or less perfect of both in the British 

^ Lowndes. 


The first is — 

Ban wedy i dynny air yngair alia o hen gyfraith Howel da | 
yap Oadell brenhin Eymbry | ynghylch chwechant 
mlynedd aeth heibio, etc. 

or in English — 

** A certaine case extracte out of the aancient Law of Hoel 
da, King of Wales, in the year of our Lorde, nyne hundred 
and fourtene passed ; whereby it maye be gathered that 
priestes had lawfully marled wyves at that tyme." 

This is a small tract of eight pages, and was printed by 
Roberte Crawley in 1550. A copy of it was sold at the 
Breese sale for £11 10«. There are perfect copies at the 
British Museum and Shirburn Castle. 

The other book published by Salesbury was the transla- 
tion of the Epistles and Gospels into Welsh. This was 
printed by Crawley in 1551. There is a perfect copy at 
Shirburn Castle, a copy wanting a few leaves in the posses- 
sion of Principal Edwards, of Bala College, and a very 
imperfect copy, consisting of thirteen pages, at the British 

Salesbury also published the New Testament in Welsh, 
and the FJook of Common Prayer in the year 1567. 
Possibly he had also a hand in the publication of the 
Litany in 1564, and the Catechism in 1567, but I have 


never seen copies of these books. Besides the above- 
mentioned books, he wrote and published the English- 
Welsh Dictionary, and two editions of the Brief e and Playne 
Introduction teachyng how to pronounce the letters in the 
British tong, and he was the joint author of the Egluryn 
Ffraethineb, published in 1595. He also wrote a few 
treatises in English, so his sphere of work was very wide, 
and he must undoubtedly be looked upon as one of the 
foremost figures in the history of Welsh Literature. 

With Salesbury we come to the end of the first chapter 
of Welsh literary enterprise as represented by the press. 


Another, and perhaps the most interesting chapter in the 
History of Welsh Bibliography is that which deals with 
the labours of the Welsh Roman Catholic Priests. Mr. 
Howel Lloyd, in his most interesting paper read before 
this Society in June 1880, gave a very full and minute 
account of several books issued by these patriots. loan 
Pedr (Rev. John Peter) had previously written at con- 
siderable length an account of two of them to the 
Trdethodydd, so that little remains to be done to complete 
their work. 

At least nine of these books were printed between the 
years 1567 and 1670, and they were all printed at foreign 
presses, two at Milan, three at Paris, one at Rouen, two at 
Liege, and one probably at St. Omer. They are looked 
upon as the choicest rarities among Welsh books. 

The following is a list of them : — 

(1) Dosparth Byrr ar y rban gyntaf i Ramadeg Oymraeg, by 

Dr. Griff.Roberts. Milan, 1567. 

(2) Atbravaeth Gristnogavl. Milan, 1567 (re-issued by tbe 

Cymmrodoriou Society). One copy known. 

(3) Y Drych Cristnogavl. Rouen. 1585. Four copies known. 

(4) Crynodeb o addysc Cristnogavl. Paris, 1609. Unique 

copy at Shir burn. 

(5) Catechism Petrus Canisius. Paris, 1611. Copy at the 

British Museum. 

(6) Theater du Mond sef iw Gorsedd y byd. Paris, 1615. 

(7) Eglurhad Helaethlawn. St. Omer, 1618, by John Sales- 

bury. Copy at the British Museum. 

(8) Drych Cydwybod. Liege, 1661. 

(9) Allwydd Paradwys. Liege, 1Ö70. Copy at the British 

Second Edition. London, 1776. 

Facsimiles of the first two have been published, and the 
third has been very fully described by loan Pedr, so I 
shall pass them over. The fourth, however, has not been 
described, and Mr. Howel Lloyd even doubted its exist- 
ence. However, there is a perfect copy of it at Shirburn. 


It is mentioned by Moses Williams in his catalogue, and 
his description is copied by Rowlands in his Bibliography. 

The book consists of seventy-two pages, including title 
page and a preface of four pages by Eosier Smith. On 
examination it turns out to be, as conjectured by Howel 
Lloyd, merely the first edition of the first part of another 
book published by Rosier Smith in 1611. 

It does not contain the Latin dedication of the 1611 
Catechism, but the Welsh Prefaces in both agree word 
for word ; even the Rhyimdd ir Darlleir, in which Smith 
scourges unmercifully his French compositors (who un- 
wittingly published their own faults and shortcomings to 
the world) is the same. 

It is of interest to note that as in the 1611 edition, so in 
this, he has followed the orthography of his master. Dr. 
Griffith Roberts, but curiously enough the type, which had 
to be specially cast, is not the same as that used by Dr. 
Roberts in his Grammar published in 1567, or as that 
which Smith himself used two years later in 1611. The 
type used in 1609 is a shade smaller than that used in 
1567, and the 1611 type is smaller still. In 1615, Rosier 
Smith published Theater du Morvd or Gorsedd y Byd, also 
printed at Paris, and in this book he reverts to the ordi- 
nary type and throws overboard the orthography of Dr. 
Roberts. It would be interesting to know whether the 
French printer was the cause of this strange change of 
front, but it is not unlikely that, like Dr. Owen Pughe's 
printer, he resented the expense of casting these curious 
and uncouth letters, and so poor Rosier Smith's notion of 
orthography, like Dr. Pughe's, had to go to the wall. 
The only peculiarity in the printing of the Theater du Mond 
is the printing of the " w " by two separate v's. 

Mr. Howel Lloyd had not seen a copy of this book, but 
Rowlands gives a long description of it in his Bibliography ^ 


and it was my good fortune some years ago to come 
across the very copy seen by Rowlands. I have not been 
able to hear of any other copy, and the one which belonged 
to Moses Williams does not appear to be in the Shirbum 
Library at present. The book is a translation from the 
French of Peter Boaystuan, and is deemed a great curiosity 
in the original. It certainly loses none of its flavour by 
being translated into the vigorous Welsh of Rosier Smith. 

The next book published was the Eglurhad Helaethlawn^ 
a translation from the Italian of Cardinal Bellarmin, made 
by Father John Salisbury in 1618. There is a copy of 
this book in the British Museum, and it has been very fully 
described by Mr. Howel Lloyd, and by loan Pedr in the 

Of the next work, Drych Cydwybod, I have been able to 
get no information, but according to Moses Williams it 
was published in 1661. 

The ninth book, Allwyddneu agoriad Paradwys iW Gymru^ 
has also been fully described by Mr. Howel Lloyd and 
Canon Silvan Evans. It appears to be the most common 
of this series of books. It was " revised and reprinted by 
D. P. in London, 1776." The author was one Father John 
Hughes, or John Hugh Owen, a native of Anglesey, who 
was bom in 1615, and died at Holywell, 1686. Consider- 
able information may be found regarding him in Foley's 
History of the English Province of Jesuits^ where he is stated 
to have published several treatises. On the Grievousness of 
Mortal Siny especially of Heresy, London, 1668; a Catechism 
in Welsh, London, 1668 (which I have not seen), and the 
Prayer Book called the Key to Heaven, i.e., Allwydd 

But Father Hughes did not stop here, for in 1684 he 
published the translation made by Hugh Owen (H. O.), of 
Gwenynog, Anglesea, of the Imitatio Ghristi of Thomas a 


Kempis. Eowlands inentions an edition of this book under 
the year 1679, but this entry appears to be doubtful. Some 
time ago I purchased a copy, the title page of which agreed 
with the title page given by Rowlands as that of the 1679 
edition, in every particular, but on examination it turned 
out to have been printed after 1776. There is also no 
mention of a former edition in the 1684 copy. 

This book was for some time most popular amongst the 
Welsh people. One, and perhaps two editions were pub- 
lished in the seventeenth century, and in the eighteenth 
as many as twelve editions were brought out.* In this 
century several new translations have been made, but no 
reprint of the eighteenth century book. 

Considerable attention has been drawn to this book, 
because of the curious way in which the printers have 
managed to change and alter the name and place of abode 
of Hugh Owen, the translator. Hugh Owen lived at a 
placed called Grwenynog, in the parish of Llanbabo, 

The title page of the 1684 book runs as follows : — 

Dilyniad | Christ | a elwir yn gyfiredin | Thotnas a Kempis | 
Gwedi ei gjrfieitbu 'n Gymraec ers | talm o amser yn ol 
Editiwn I yr Awdur gan | Huw Owen | Gwenynoc ym 
Mon, Esq. | . . . . Llnndain | Gwedi ei imprintio 
ar gost. I. H. | mdclxxxiv. 

Subsequent editions bear the imprint, " Gwenydog ym 
Mon Esq. and Grweinydog ym Mon." This fact puzzled 
the printer, as he thought that Gwenydog or Gweinydog 
was the same as Gweinidog (a minister), so that he 
translated it Huw Owen, a minister in Anglesey, Esq. 
Here another difficulty met him, as the Esq. was out of 
place after the name of a minister. It is curious to note 

* See the Catalogue of the Welsh Collection at Cardiff under 
" a. Kempis," 


the changes which this name underwent in the hands of 
subsequent printers, until at last it became a standing 
puzzle, and learned attempts to unravel the mystery were 
made in many old Welsh periodicals. 

The 1684 edition has a long preface of twenty pages 
signed "J. H., S. J. o gymydogaeth Castell Ehaglan." 
It has the following dedication: — *^At lawn Ardderchoc 
Vicounti ac Arglwyddi Baronetti a Marchogion Hybarchus, 
Boneddigionac TJchelwyr Parchedic, ac at Holl Drigianolion 
Mwynion Mon.'' 

In the preface Father Hughes gives a long and eulo- 
gistic account of Hugh Owen the translator, from which 
we gather that he was possessed of a small estate in 
Anglesey, and that he became steward to Sir Hugh Owen 
of Bodem, and afterwards to the Marquis of Worcester. 
He understood French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch — 
^' medru deall yn Uwyr ddigon Ff rengec, Hispanec, Italic, a 
Dwts ac yntau y pryd hyimy'n wr priod ac yn Dad plant." 
He translated The Christian Directory of Robert Parsons, 
known also as Llyfr y Resolusion^ into Welsh thirty years 
before Dr. Davies's edition appeared, and also some of the 
vmtings of Vincentius Lirinensis. 

Father Hughes, in a note to the Preface, states that 
three other translations of the Imitatio Christi had been 
made by the Roman Catholic priests, Matthew Turbervil, 
Thomas Jefifreyes, and Huw Parry, but none had been 
previously printed. In 1723 a new translation of the same 
book, said to be made by one W.M., A.B., was issued 
from a press at Chester. This translation is in far better 
Welsh than that of Huw Owen, and in connection with 
this an interesting fact comes to light. 

Thomas Durston, of Shrewsbury, is well-known as the 
chief printer of Welsh books during the first half of the 
eighteenth century. He is also known as a man of little 


principle, who was always trying to cut the markets of his 
fellow-publishers, and to reprint their works without 
obtaining their consent. In many of the early eighteenth 
century books we come across notes by John Ehyderch, 
Rogers, or Roderick, all the same person, warning the reader 
as a buyer of books against the wiles of Thomas Durston ; 
and likewise in Durston's we get similar injunctions 
against having anything to do with Rogers. 

Now it appears that Thomas Durston wished to reprint 
the Imitatio Ghristiy but the translation of Hugh Owen was 
so wretchedly done that he knew it would not find a sale. 
On the other hand, the translation made by W. M. was in 
excellent Welsh, but it had only just been issued from the 
Chester press, and he feared to reprint it word for word 
from that edition. What was he to do ? 

Bearing in mind, perhaps, a previous occasion on which 
he had coolly appropriated John Rhyderch's introduction 
to Vicar Pritchard's Ganwyll y Cymry, and placed it under 
his own name, he determined to reprint W.M.'s edition 
and put H. 0. (Hugh Owen's) name to it. This he actually 
did, but he omitted W. M.'s introduction and his transla- 
tion of the first chapter, introducing in their place the 
introduction written by Hugh Owen and his translation of 
the first chapter. He subsequently published at least six 
editions of the book, but always under H. O.'s name. 
The credit, therefore, for this excellent translation should 
be transferred from the shoulders of H. 0. to those of W. 
M., A.B.^ 

Of recent years considerable attention has been paid to the 
history of the first editions of the Welsh Bible and Testa- 

^ It is difficult to fix the identity of this W. M. - He mast have been 
a native of North Wales, as his dialect proves, and there was one 
William Morgan, Bachelor of Arts, a curate in Anglesea about this 
time, but whether he was the W. M. of the á Eempis cannot be at 
present ascertained, 


ment, but no real attempt has been made to produce a 
correct Bibliography of the Bible, and but little has been 
written on the seventeenth century editions with the 
exception of that brought out in 1620 by Bishop Parry. 

It is a curious comment on the state of our critical 
literature that several editions of the Bible and Testament 
which never had an existence in fact, are constantly 
mentioned, and even described, in articles written by well- 
known literary students. The best instance is, perhaps, 
the Bible of 1671, said to have been published by Stephen 
Hughes and Thomas Gouge. This Bible is referred to in 
Rowlands, though he does not pretend to have seen the 
book, and since his time every writer on the subject has 
taken its existence for granted. However, though 6,000 
copies were said to have been printed, not one is to be found 
in any public or private library that I have searched. This 
edition is not mentioned by Moses Williams or Dr. 
Llewelyn, and Stephen Hughes himself, writing in the 
preface to his editions of Ganwyll y Gymry, published 
respectively in 1670 and 1672, never refers to its existence, 
although the major part of his introduction is taken up 
with the question of providing Bibles in Welsh for the 
Welsh people. In fact, from the tenour of Stephen 
Hughes's remarks, it is clear that he did not publish an 
edition of the Bible in that year. 

Similar remarks might be made about the editions of 
the New Testament said to have been published in 1643, 
1648, and 1650. It is, therefore, clear that our knowledge 
of the seventeenth century Bibles is not in a very advanced 

But to return to the first edition of the small octavo Bible 
published in 1630. This Bible is said to be rare, but as far 
as my experience goes, it is far commoner than the next 
edition published in 1654, and known as Bibl Cromwell. 


I have in my possession two copies of the 1630 Bible, 
which differ considerably in spacing and spelling, making 
it clear that they are not the same editions. Both volumes 
have the Book of Common Prayer, the Old and New 
Testaments, the Apocrjrpha, and the Psalms of Edmund 
Prys ; and the title pages to all these in each case are 
exactly similar and bear the same date. The only differ- 
ences between the two editions are found in the first 
portion of the Old Testament, ending in sheet B, but these 
differences are considerable. 

For instance, the plate at the beginning of Genesis 
representing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is 
totally different, the word llyfr is spelt llyfer in one, llyfr 
in the other ; the first page of Genesis ends with the 24th 
verse in one, with the middle of the 25th verse in the 
other ; the words not existing in the original are placed in 
ordinary print within square brackets in one, and are 
printed in italics in the other. All these distinctions are 
carried on to the end of the fifth sheet of the Bible, from 
whence both editions agree in all particulars. The ques- 
tion is whether these two Bibles are to be considered as 
distinct editions or as one and the same. 

Vavasor Powel mentions the fact that he had bought up 
a large number of a former impression of the Bible, and 
had caused them to be circulated throughout the Princi- 
pality. He can only refer in this paragraph to the 1630 
edition, and it may be that some sheets had to be re- 
printed by him. On the other hand, these five sheets may 
represent an earlier attempt at producing a small pocket 
edition of the Bible, which was given up for some reason 
or other. 

It is well known, and it is stated in the Preface to this 
Bible, that two citizens of London, Sir Rowland Heylin 
and Sir Thomas Myddelton, bore the expense of publica- 


tíon. Mr. Ivor James^ in an article in the Traethodydd 
some years ago, attempted to prove that the Rev. Rees 
Prichard, Vicar of Llandovery, and author of Ganwyll y 
Cymry, had the chief hand in bringing this Bible through 
the press. I do not think Mr. James's arguments in favour 
of this conclusion are tenable, but in the absence of any 
positive evidence it is not safe to condemn any theory 
however far-fetched it may appear. 

However, Moses Williams^ in his notes (Addit, M88. 
14,982) on the editions of the Welsh Bible, says :— " The 
Welsh preface to it bespeaks the curator of ye press to be 
a native of Dyfifryn Clwyd, at least to have lived a con- 
siderable time somewhere in that neighbourhood." Pre- 
sumably Moses Williams came to this conclusion from the 
existence 'of words or phrases peculiar to the Djrffryn 
Clwyd dialect in the Editor's preface. I am not acquainted 
with the peculiarities of that dialect, but such words as 
diwaethafy fo ddichouy and/o ryngodd hodd^ could not have 
been used by Vicar Prichard, a native of Carmarthenshire. 
Moreover, we have no evidence that the Vicar himself ever 
published a book, as the little tract printed by Hodgetts 
in 1617, which contains one of his songs, bears no trace of 
his name, and was probably published by order of some 
church dignitary. 

If it is worth while making a conjecture as to the 
editor of this Bible, one would be disposed to give the 
credit to Robert Lloyd, Vicar of Chirk, in Denbighshire, 
who lived for some time in the vale of Clwyd. He was in 
London in 1629 and 1630, for in 1629 he pubUshed a 
translation of a sermon by Arthur Dent, and in 1630 the 
book called Llwyhr Hyffordd iW Nefoedd. It is also pro- 
bable, from a remark in the preface to the latter book, 
that he overlooked the printing of Rowland Vaughan's 
book, Yr Tmarfer o Dduwioldeby published in the same year. 


In 1631 again he was to the front, as he wrote a preface 
to the book, Carwr y Cymru, the avowed object of which 
was to impress upon the Welsh people the need of buying 
the Bible. 

It cannot therefore be considered a very bold surmise 
to suggest that Robert Lloyd was the person, or one of the 
persons, who had charge of the task of bringing out the 
Welsh Bible of 1630. 

Whether this be so or not, Lloyd deserves a niche in the 
gallery of eminent Welsh writers, for his style is, perhaps, 
with the exception of that of Elis Wyn, the Bardd Gswg, 
the most vigorous in Welsh literature. 

It is a striking fact that these early writers exhibit so 
correct a taste in style, and at the same time so great a 
command of the Welsh language. Perhaps "they took 
more time than present writers can afford to correct and 
improve their phraseology, and certainly when one considers 
the expense and trouble involved in publishing Welsh 
books in those early days, one can understand a person 
taking enormous pains to do his work well. One of the 
most interesting features in connection with the early 
Welsh books is that each book represents an enormous 
outlay both in time and money, for the writer would have 
to leave his secluded valley for the dust and din of London, 
there to remain till his book was out of the press. The 
correction of errors was sometimes left to a third person, 
and this is the reason why we find so many of these early 
authors complaining of printer's errors ; occasionally 
taking their revenge on the obstinate printer in the maimer 
of Thomas Jones, of Shrewsbury, in his Welsh Dictionary 
published in 1688, who caused the unsuspecting printer to 
print these words in Welsh : — 

^* r am extremely sorry that portions of this book, and 

of my Almanac for 1688, have been printed so abominably, 



for I paid as heavily for the portions badly printed as for 

those well-printed, and indeed the fault lies not with me, 

but with the printers, who are without conscience. Did 

we wait for correctly printed books until the printers 

procure a conscience, we might be without them for ever. 

Should I live to give any further work to printers, I shall 

probably bind them, rather than they cheat me and deceive 

the country, to take their dirty work for their trouble : — 

" Nid oes myn f'eÌDÌoes-argraphydd 
Od dwyn nad ydyw 
Drwy ddiogi a meddwi meddaw 
Yn cogio 'r byd, goegnn baw.*' 

Of subsequent editions of the Bible or Testament the 
rarest^ perhaps, is the New Testament published in 1641, 
of which 1 believe there is only one copy in existence.^ This 
bears the following title page : — 

Testament | Newydd | Ein | Harglwydd | A*n | Hiacha- 
wdwr I Jean Grist | . 

Bhuf. 1, xvi I Nid oes amaf gywilydd o Ëfengyl Grist | 
oblegid galln Dnw yw hi er Jechydwriaeth i bob | nn 
ar sydd yn credu | [Engraving of the English Arms with 
the mottoes, ** Honi soit qni mal y pense," and ** Dien et 
mon droit "] | Argraphwyd yn y Flwyddyn m.d. cxli | , 

No printer's name or place of publication is given, but 
it was doubtless printed in London. The fact that it bears 
the Royal arms would tend to prove that it was not an 
unauthorised publication, as Rowlands seems to think.'^ 
It was probably not printed by the authorised printers of 
Bibles, Robert Barker, or the Assigns of John Bill, and 
that may account for the fact that there is no printer's 
name to it. It is a small octavo, measuring four inches 
by seven, and the pages reach to the sign. Gg. 4, in Mr. 
Thomas's copy (Revel, xi). 

^ In the possession of Bev. W. Thomas, to whom I am indebted 
for these notes. ^ Wehh Bihliography^ p. 128. 


Two other editions of the New Testament were published 
in 1647 and printed in London by Matthew Symmons, 
Aldersgate Street. 

They agree as to paging and size, having 820 pages and 
being 12mo8^ but there is considerable difference in 
type, and both are full of mistakes, whole lines being 
sometimes omitted. 

There were two other authenticated editions of the 
Welsh Testament in the seventeenth century, the one 
being published in 1654, in large type for the use of old 
people, and the other published by Stephen Hughes in 
1672. The latter edition has also bound with it the Book 
of Psalms, and the Metrical version of the Psalms by 
Edmund Prys. 

The seventeenth century editions of the Bible are not 
scarce as Welsh books go, with the exception, perhaps, of 
that of 1664, and they have been fully and for the most 
part correctly described by Eowlands, Ashton, and other 
bibliographers. But the editions of the New Testament 
are very rare, the British Museum only possessing one out 
of the five, and the fine Welsh Library at Cardiff not 
having one. It is very probable that the New Testaments 
included in the 1654, 1677-8, and 1689-90 editions of the 
Welsh Bible were sold separately, but from a bibliographi- 
cal point of view they can hardly be looked upon as 
separate editions. 

Thus, only six editions of the New Testament and seven 
editions of the whole Bible were published in Welsh down 
to the year 1700, a fact which only proves once more the 
ignorant condition of the Welsh peasantry, and the criminal 
neglect of the gentry and clergy of that period. 

Perhaps the need was not so great as we might suppose, 
as the English language had undoubtedly gained a con- 
siderable footing in Wales in the seventeenth century, an 
advance lost almost as completely at a later date. 


I conclude with the hope that one of the numerous 
Welsh periodicals will see its way clear to start a biblio- 
graphical page or' pages where all those interested in 
Welsh books can interchange opinions, and make public 
any new discoveries. At a not very distant date we might 
then hope to have a new and complete edition of Rowlands' 
valuable work. 

Finally, I have to thank the Countess of Maccles- 
field for graciously giving me permission to examine and 
make notes of the valuable Welsh books in the Shirbum 
Castle Library. 


Uti^ a bm nfftof 

t^ut fat? at a iatffeit fz €((ftis pi\ò 
Ûtmáat/ w, ^« 

6vÖrtîfoC:<icvt) iff ŵ> ûcftîöiiŵíof pr?p6fòftí 

utFî/ratî öpegŵf f ati. p SpnSfèirtir cBoieÇ affefif cÇú 
(ie gogontane p IDio malSt / a't? jacÇaîSòpi 3frf9ii 
C92tf{ /piÇ^t? ae òoòe0 cÇuttnt? crofan) nîft pzf ttf o 
ptBî^ oCfeiiîStrcd? a (ÇorcÇf tso rÇunoirpopf pqpitassr 

ii3p6 ffîBtfpguö genp ft £vûn^tr€fiîiff/ion jöíaflte 
3DC0 pôpîS Çt ar icíÇcit i pop 8if f )? crẃp pntÇcîT 








Bebsham is a large township which stretches westward 
from the borough of Wrexham, between the rivers Gwenf ro 
and Clywedog, to the mountain township of Minera or 
Mwnglawdd. It is bounded on the north by Broughton- 
in-Bromfield and Brymbo, and on the south by Bsclusham 
Above, Esclusham Below, and Erddig — all, but the last- 
named, townships in the old parish of Wrexham. The 
name "Bersham" was formerly applied to the township 
only, and not to the village now so-called. The lower part 
of that village was in earlier times, and even less than one 
hundred years ago, variously known as " Dol Cuhelyn '" 
(Guhelyn^s meadow) y and " Dol Cae Heilyn " {meadow of 
Heilyn^s Field), and the upper part ^^Pentre Dybenni",^ or 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Oymmrodorion, at 20 
HaDover Square, on Wednesday, March 9, 1898. Chairman, Mr. 
Henry Owen, F.S.A. 

^ The lower part of Bersham village is still designated " The 

' Other spellings of this name which I have met with are " Pentre 
debonney" (1676 & 1770), "Pentre debenni " (1674), "Pentre 
dybenny" (1676 and 1778), and "Pentre Dyvenni*' (1699). The 
spelling " Pentre 'r dibynau " /Ham/oi of tlie cliffs) is modern. 
Whatever be the true form of the addition, I suspect it represents 
a personal name. Compare the form " Pentre Dyvenni '* with 
" Llan devenny,'' the name of a hamlet in Netherwent, Monmouth- 



simply as " The Pentre." It was in this hamlet — about a 
mile and a half from Wrexham — that the furnace and 
buildings connected with it stood, which buildings were 
often called locally " the Pont y Pentre Works " or " the 
Pentre Works/' but inasmuch as the proprietors sold most 
of their wares in England or abroad, they naturally called 
the works after the township, rather than after the village, 
in which they were erected. 

It has been repeatedly stated that it was John Wilkin- 
son, or John Wilkinson in conjunction with his brother 
William, who about the year 1770, first started the 
Bersham Iron Works. In reality, however, Isaac Wilkin- 
son, the father of John and William, had carried on those 
works long before. And so far as the Blast Furnace is 
concerned, this was in existence at Bersham at least as 
early as the year 1724 (see Appendix), and was then worked 
by Mr. Charles Lloyd, and afterwards by others, and was 
not taken in hand by Mr. Isaac Wilkinson until about the 
year 1754. 

The question now arises, how came Pentre Dybenni to 
be selected as a place suitable for the smelting of iron ? 
First of all, Llwyn Enion in Esclusham Above — the place 
from which the iron-ore was mainly procured — ^was only a 
mile and a half distant, and so situate with regard to it, 
that the ore brought thence would be carried along roads 
which were slightly down hill all the way. Next, it was 
always then thought desirable to build a blast-furnace 
against the face of a low cliff, so that it could be charged 
from the clifif-top, and the molten metal be run off below 
at the level of the main road. Now, there were at Pentre 
Debenni in Bersham many such sites, close to a main 
road, and near two water mills, with water-rights belonging 
to them, which mills could be used to work the bellows for 
supplying the necessary blast. And thirdly, charcoal was 


to be had in the neighbourhood. The last point is one 
that has never yet received the attention of local anti- 
quaries. But there are various entries in the Wrexham 
parish registers, which go to show that charcoal burning 
was to a certain extent resorted to within the parish at 
this time. One of these entries may be quoted, as appar- 
ently pointing to the existence of an iron furnace near 
Bersham,^ or, at any rate, somewhere within the parish, 
before the end of the seventeenth century : — 

*' Jnne 2, 1699, Klizabeth, wife of John Caradoc, i/tood collier, of 
I sclusham, who died in a caben by the ffurnesse, Mr. Moore, 
workemen, buryed." 

There are abundant indications in the names of places 
that a large part of the waste land in the upper part 
of the townships of Esclusham Above, Bersham, Brymbo, 
and Minera, were formerly covered with woods, in which 
charcoal burners, or, as they were here called, ^^wood 
colliers," plied their work. The name "Coedpoeth," or 
Burnt Wood, is a striking example of this statement, 
and although long before the date I am now speaking 
of, Coedpoeth was already an open common, bared of 
trees, some tracks of waste woodland, there is reason to 
believe, were still left in the higher parts of the parish, 
and charcoal burning was still carried on, though on a 
continually diminishing scale. 

The original Bersham furnace was erected on land 
belonging to John Roberts, Esq., of Hafod y bwch Fawr, 
and close to one of the two water-mills above-named, which 
mill belonged also to Mr. Roberts. This mill has since 
disappeared (it is described as *^down" in the year 1780), 
and its exact site is not now known, but it was certainly 

^ Bersham Fnmace stood quite close to the boundary of Esclnsham. 
Of course there may have been an iron furnace in Esclusham itself 
in 1699, but I have hitherto found no mention of it. 

26 JOHS wiLKnrsox asìí ths 

dofle to the Tillage of Pentre Djbenni, on the hank of the 
Cljwedog, and either imniediately abore or immediately 
below the property, a map of which is giren opposite. 
In 1725 the furnace and mill were in the occupation 
of a Mr. Charles Lloyd, whom I hare good reason to 
suspect to hare been of Dolobran, in the paii&h of Mei- 
f od, bat who seems to hare in no way made a success 
of them. In 1730, a Itr. John Hawldns (see Appendix) 
took them in hand, and carried them on until his death in 
Norember 1739, and they continued in the occupation of 
his widow (Mrs. Ann Hawkins) until about 1750.^ Then 
a Mr. Hanrey (see Appendix) is chained in the parish rate- 
books for ^'furnace, mill, and land," and in 1753, Mr. 
Isaac Wilkinson appears upon the scene. But in 1749 
we begin to read of a '^Mr. Nathaniel Higgons, of 
Bersham Fumance." He was probably a manager or 
derk for Mrs. Hawkins, and continued to occupy some 
such office well on into the times of the Wilkinsons. He 
may, perhaps, have belonged to the family of Higgons, of 
Llanerchrugog HaU. On May 15, 1749, his son William 
was baptized at Wrexham Church. 

Mr. Isaac Wilkinson was not of so obscure an origin as 
some have suggested, no common labourer, in short. Mr. 
James Stockdale, from his connection with the Wilkin- 
sons,* must be regarded as a prime authority as to their 
family history. He tells us, in his Annales Carmodenses 
(published in 1872), that "according to tradition Isaac 
Wukinson .... sometime after the beginning of the 
last century, occupied a small farm either in Cumberland 

^ I find a Mr. Ivy described in 1737 as "of Bersham Fornace," 
but what he was then doing there I have not been able to ascertain 
(see Appendix). 

^ This Mr. Jas. Stockdale's paternal annt became the wife of 
Wm. Wilkinson, who had estates and houses in the same parish 
^of Gartmel] . 


or Westmorland, and had also employment as a workman, 
or perhaps an overlooker, in one of the numerous haematite 
iron furnaces and forges of that part of the kingdom." 
On the other hand, Mr. John Bandall, in his John Wilkin- 
son (published 1876), says emphatically that Isaac was at 
first a day labourer working for 12«. a week, and goes on 
to quote his very words : — " They raised me to 14«. ; I did 
not ask them for it : they went on to 16«. and to 18«. I 
never asked them for the advance. They next gave me a 
guinea a week, and 1 said to myself, * If I am worth a 
guinea a week to you, I am worth more to myself.' " But 
I would point out how excellent these wages were at that 
time, and that they reached an amount which shows that 
he was at least a very skilled workman and not a mere 
day labourer. It is certain he was shrewd, intelligent, 
and far from uncultivated, and he gave his sons an 
excellent education. He sent John to the academy of the 
Eev. Dr. Caleb Eotheram, of Kendal, where some of the 
chief Presbyterian ministers of Lancashire in the last half 
of the eighteenth century received their scholastic training. 
His son William he afterwards sent to Nantwich, Cheshire, 
to the school of the Eev. Joseph Priestley, one of the 
founders of modem chemistry ; and an acquaintance was 
thus struck up which ultimately resulted in Mr. Priestley 
(afterwards the famous Dr. Priestley) marrying Mr. Isaac 
Wilkinson's daughter, Mary. 

In 1740, according to Mr. Stockdale, Mr. Isaac Wilkinson 
migrated to the village of Backbarrow in the parish of 
Coulton in Fumess, where he had a good house, and began 
business in a very small way by the manufacture of flat 
iron heaters. In this he was assisted by his eldest son 
John. They had, at first, no furnace of their own, but got 
their melted metal from a furnace worked at Backbarrow 
by the Machells and others, bringing it in large ladles 


across the road, where they poured it into moulds. But 
" about 1748, or perhaps a little later, they built or pur- 
chased the iron furnace and forge at Wilson House, near 
Lindal, in the parish of Cartmel, intending to smelt there 
the rich haematite ore of Furness with turbary or peat 
moss, large tracts of which at that time were on every side 
nearly of the furnace." Into this turbary he dug a canal, 
and in order to bring the peat along this canal to the fur- 
nace, he made, acting, it is said, on a sugg^estion of his son 
John, a small iron boat, " the parent ", as Mr. Stockdale 
says, " of all the iron ships that have ever since been built." 
The many experiments made by the two with the object of 
smelting iron ore with peat moss proved, however, unsuc- 
cessful, and they had to revert to the use of wood charcoal. 
Nevertheless, they here invented and patented " the com- 
mon box smoothing iron, even to this day but little altered." 
(Stockdale.) Soon after, John Wilkinson left his father 
and got employment, first at Wolverhampton, and then at 
Bilston, Staffordshire, where, after ten years he " succeeded 
in obtaining sufficient means to enable him to build the 
first blast furnace ever constructed in Bilston township, which 
he called " Bradley Furnace," where he ultimately, after 
many failures, attained complete success in substituting 
mineral coal for wood charcoal in the smelting and puddling 
of iron ore. It is probable that in achieving this result he 
owed more to the Darbys and Reynoldses of Coalbrookdale, 
and to others, than he ever seems to have acknowledged. 

Convinced of the applicability of iron to almost every 
purpose for which stone, brick, or wood had hitherto been 
used, and desirous of pleasing Thomas Jackson, one of his 
foremen at Bradley, he presented the Wesleyans of that 
place with what was called " a cast iron chapel " and 
pulpit. Talking with Jackson about the Sunday School 
connected with the chapel he advised that the children "' be 


employed in writing and arithmetic", and then, added he, 
" you will do something to keep the devil off them all their 
lives. If that don't increase the number of saints it will 
decrease the number of fools." 

*' Very good, sir ; bat who is to pay for pens, ink, and paper the 
children will spoil long before they can make decent pothooks and 
hangers ; and there's the desks to come from they must have to 
write on ?" " Bah 1 We can do without pens, ink, and paper, and 
desks. Give them plenty of iron and a little sand !" ** Iron !" 
exclaimed Tom, stretching his eyes and his mouth as though they 
could compass the width of his shoulders, and trying all the while 
to look as though he did not think Mr. Wilkinson was iron mad. 
** Yes, iron I Look here, you make a pattern for a square box of 
thin cast-iron without a top, the sides rising only an inch or so, and 
the whole no longer than a boy can hold on his left hand and fore- 
arm, or rest on his knees as he sits. Let that box be filled with 
the fine sand to be found about here, the surface of the sand made 
even : and then with a skewer of iron, fashioned like a pen if you 
like, let the boy learn to make his figures and his straight strokes 
and round O's in the sand. He can't use up that copybook very 
fast ; and the pen will never want mending. You get the patterns 
ready, Tom, and we will soon have a cast-iron school as well as a 
cast-iron chapel. Come, I must be off to Wednesbury. Lend me 
your pony, Tom."^ 

These cast iron copy books and pens were still in use long 
after John Wilkinson's death, and I believe the old pulpit 
is still preserved in the Wesleyan Chapel at Bradley which 
has been erected on the site of its predecessor. 

Meanwhile Mr. Isaac Wilkinson heard of the Bersham 
Iron Furnace, and determined to lease it. Hither, therefore, 

^ My authority for this conversation (which I have copied 
exactly), is an article by Mr. Alfred G. Pratt, in The Midland 
Counties Easpress. Mr. Pratt drew on the recollections of old 
people at Bradley. Mr. Stockdale says that this chapel was 
at Bilston, which is close to Bradley, and the form of his 
remarks suggests that the building, though known as "Wilkin- 
son's cast-iron chapel," was not actually built of cast-iron 
but merely furnished by John Wilkinson with " pulpit, window 
frames, pillars, and many other things " of cast-iron. The two 
accounts supplement and correct each other. 


he came with his wife, his sons, William and Henry, 
and at least two daughters, and after a while rented of 
Squire Torke the fine old house in Esclusham Below, now 
pulled down, called " Plas Grono." His eldest son John, 
although he still kept on his furnace at Bradley, seems to 
have somehow co-operated with his father's venture at 
Bersham, for in 1756 he had a house in Wrexham Fechan, 
and when his first wife, Ann, died 17 Nov. 1756, at the age 
of 23, leaving him, '^inconsolable," she was buried in 
Wrexham Church, where a tablet to her memory still 
remains. This lady, according to Mr. Eandall, was a Miss 
Mawdsley, by whom he had a daughter who died young. 
In 1763, according to the same authority, he married a 
Miss Lee of Wroxeter. Of the two younger sons of Isaac 
Wilkinson, Henry was the elder. He was bom in 1730, 
died at Plas Grono, June 26, 1756, and was buried in the 
Dissenters' Graveyard, Wrexham, where his tombstone may 
still be seen. One of Isaac Wilkinson's daughters, Mary,^ 
maîTÌed at Wrexham Parish Church, June 23, 1762, the 
Rev. Joseph Priestley. Another daughter, apparently, 
married a Mr. Jones, and had a son, Thomas Jones,'^ who 
afterwards assumed the name " Wilkinson", and lived, it 
is said, in Manchester. 

Mr. Isaac Wilkinson, and his wife, were Presbyterians, 
doubtless with a tendency towards Unitarianism, and 
became members of the Presbyterian (now Congrega- 
tional) Chapel, Chester Street, Wrexham. WiUiam Wil- 
kinson, one of the sons, after he returned from France, 
became also a member of the congregation, and so 

^ Mr. Stockdale strangely calls her name " Sarab," bat in tbe 
entry of her marriage to Mr. Priestley in the Wrexham parish 
registers, her name is given as *' Mary." 

2 This Thomas Jones calls himself John Wilkinson'R nephew, and 
therefore I suppose his mother was one of John Wilkinson's sisters. 


continued until his death. John Wilkinson, on the other 
hand, went to Church, when he went to any place of 
worship, but in general stayed away from both Church and 
Chapel, and showed a disregard for certain accepted 
maxims of morality, which made the hair of good quiet 
people stand on end ; and not without cause. 

The iron-stoue, or a large part of it, smelted at Bersham, 
was, as I have already intimated, obtained from Llwyn 
Enion, and I have seen a lease for forty years, dated June 
9, 1757, to Mr. Isaac Wilkinson, of all the coal and iron- 
stone to be found under any part of the estate of Cae Glas 
in Esclusham Above, near Llwyn Enion. The lease was 
from Mr. John Hughes, who had recently become the 
owner of the estate, and to whom Mr. Wilkinson was to 
render "a sixth part of all the coal, kennel and slack, 
that shall be raised or gotten out of the said premises, and 
also two shillings a dozen farme [that is, royalty] for 
every dozen strike, or measure, of iron-stone that shall be 
raised out of the said premises," and a rent of twenty-four 
shillings an acre yearly. On the other hand, Mr. Wilkin- 
son was to have the liberty of " laying rails or making a 
railroad to the pits from the main or great road," and also 
another railroad ov^er Mr. Hughes' lands from the Ponkey. 
At the Ponkey (Poncau : the Banks) was a colliery which, 
I believe, belonged to Mr. William Higgons, of Llanerch- 
rugog Hall, and which, at a later date, the Wilkinsons 

Mr. Isaac Wilkinson smelted iron at Bersham, but I do 
not know whether he forged it there also. He made, 
however, all sorts of cast iron articles — heaters, water- 
pipes, and the like, and even began to manufacture cannon. 
In fact, though he himself appears to have failed at the 
Bersham Works, he pointed out and prepared the way to 
success. It was about the year 1761 that Mr. Wilkinson 


was obliged to bring his operations at Bersham to a close ; 
he then went to Bristol, where he also failed in business, 
and became ultimately wholly dependent upon his two 
sons. Of these, John Wilkinson, trading at first under 
the name of "the New Bersham Company", then took 
the Bersham Works in hand, and speedily made a great 
success of them. It is possible that others, besides John 
Wilkinson, had a share in the new undertaking, but if so 
they were afterwards bought out, and it is clear that it 
was John who from the beginning was chiefly interested 
in the concern. I once saw " the New Bersham Com- 
pany's " first ledger, which has since been destroyed, and 
which began to be kept in the year 1762. From this 
ledger it appears that they made, at that time, box-heaters, 
calendar rolls, malt-mill rolls, sugar rolls, pipes, shells, 
grenades, and guns. Under date May 28, 1764 "the 
Office of Ordnance" is charged with 32 guns, value 
£238 12«. 9d., and there are also many other items relating 
to charges for guns consigned to ships in the ports of 
Liverpool and London. The shells mentioned were 
4}\ inches diameter. Royalties were paid for coal and iron- 
stone to various persons. To Wm. Higgons, Esq., royalty 
was paid for coal from Ponkey Colliery at the rate of 1«. 4d. 
a scare, and there appear to have been reckoned four 
piches^ to every scare. To Richard Myddelton, Esq., Simon 
Yorke, Esq., and Miss Esther Jones, a royalty was paid of 
8d. a course for coal, and 2«. a dozen strikes (= bushels) 
for iron-stone. It appears from one item that £18 was 
received as " a year's rent for Ruabon furnace." Under 
date March 25, 1765, the following entry also occurs: — 
"William Higgons. Profit and Loss per so much due 
from him for furnace sold him this day, £6,050." There 

^ The i here has the soaud of i in mne, and the ch that of ch in 


ryt€^9ty ^ 

^^»<á^Ŵ?,^, ^<rx^ŵ«^x eyÄ^4S4Styyc^. 

À^^.^. . /yyy y...^..^^ ....^^ 


is no hint given as to the particular part of Ruabon in 
which this furnace was situate. The ledger shows that in 
order to obtain control over the water of the Clywedog, 
the Bersham Company had rented of Mr. Griffith Speed 
the Pelin Buleston (Puleston Mills), and apparently also 
the Esclus MiUs, of Miss Conway Longueville. They also 
carried on the Abenbury Forge, which was erected in 1726 
by Edward Davies (see Appendix) ; for this forge they 
paid to Wm. Travers, Esq., of Trefalyn House, in the 
parish of Gresford, a rent of £52 a year. As I did not 
notice in the ledger any reference to the use of charcoal, 
I conclude that iron-stone was already smelted at Bersham 
exclusively by means of coal. 

I have said that the original blast furnace at Bersham 
was on land belonging to John Roberts, Esq., of Hafod y 
bwch. This furnace, with the land pertaining thereto, 
passed ultimately into the occupatioii of the Wilkinsons, 
and into the ownership of Wm. Lloyd, Esq., of Plas Power. 
This is certain, and yet it is equally certain that the site 
of the Bersham Iron Works, as they were known in their 
later and more prosperous days, belonged to the Myddel- 
tons of Chirk Castle, for on Aug. 20, 1785, Richard 
Myddelton, Esq., and his son of the same name, leased 
to John Wilkinson the site of the works and much land 
adjoining, comprising in all 68 statute acres, for 100 years, 
at a rent of £100 a year. I append a map of the land so 
leased with the buildings, houses, etc., as the whole was in 
the year 1829. Close to the weir, but on the other side of 
the road, against the clifiE face, considerable remains of one 
of the old blast furnaces may still be seen.^ The Bersham 

^ This is described in the plan herewith given as a lime-kiln, and 
it may have been nsed as such in 1829. Bat the interior of it is 
coated with a difficultly fusible iron glaze or slag which points 
distinctly to the original purpose of the structure. 



MiUs^ belonging to the Myddeltons, and leased to the 
Bersham Company, appear to have been called "The 
Cadwgan Mills." 

John Wilkinson relied at first wholly on the stream — 
the Clywedog — ^which ran by the Bersham Works, for the 
power which he required to work his blast, and do other 
needful work. He thereupon set himself to obtain, as far 
as possible, full control over the stream. Below the 
Bersham Works were, first of all, the Esclus (or Esless) 
Mills; then, in the order named, Melin Buleston (or 
Puleston Mills) ; Melin Coed y Glyn, more commonly 
called " The French Mills," in what is now Erddig Park, 
near the junction of the Clywedog and Black Brook ; the 
King's Mills; the Abenbury Forge; and finally, the 
Llwyn-onn Mills. The Esclus Mills and Abenbury Forge 
Mr. Wilkinson rented; the Puleston Mills he at first 
rented, and afterwards bought of Mr. Griffith Speed, or of 
Mr. Speed's representatives ; the French Mills were pulled 
down by Mr. Yorke with the view of improving his park ; 
the King's Mills and Llwyn-onn Mills Mr. Wilkinson was 
never able to get hold of. Above the Bersham Works 
were two " pandai," or fulling mills, one on the Bersham, 
and the other on the Esclusham side of the stream. Then 
came the Nant Mill, and finally the Minera Mill. The 
last named Mr. Wilkinson purchased towards the end of 
the century, and the Esclusham Pandy he rented for a 
time, but over the Bersham Pandy and Nant Mills he 
seems never to have acquired any sort of control. 

But Wilkinson was soon to make himself, by help of his 
friend, James Watt, almost wholly independent of water 
power. Watt's steam engine was destined to become a 
practical reality as soon as its inventor could find some 
one able to bore his cylinders with the required truth and 
smoothness. John Wilkinson was the first, it is saidj who 


showed himself competent to do this, and the cylinders 
for many of Watt's steam engines were at first made at 
Bersham and Broseley. 

This was about the year 1775. Then in turn Watt's 
engines came to be used more and more at Bersham 
Works, instead of the old water wheels, and for purposes 
which the old water wheels could in no way have served. 
I may add that there was in full work six or seven years 
ago at the Ffrwd Works an old beam pumping engine, 
made at Bersham in the year 1797. I have among my 
notes a full description of this engine, but cannot now 
lay my hands upon it. I may, however, say that I 
remember seeing on the cylinder, which was 48 inches in 
diameter, the date 1797, and the name "Bersham," while 
at each end of the beam, and on each side of it, was in 
high relief a small crucified figure accompanied by three 

The following extract from the second edition of 
Nicholson's Cambrian Travellers^ Ghiide (1813) may be 
interesting, as giving a contemporary account^ of the 
Bersham Works, and of the operations carried on there : — 

'* Two miles from Wrexbam is Bersham iron farnace belonging 
to Messrs. J. and W. Wilkinson. This concern was first attempted 
in 1761,^ but it proved unsnccessfnl, and it fell to Mr. John Wilkin- 
son to prosecute renewed plans in which he succeeded wonderfully. 
The mechanism employed is exceedingly ingenious, and his works 

^ I say a " contemporary account/' for although it appears for 
the first time in the 1813 edition, when the brothers were both 
dead, and long after they had quarrelled with each other, it had 
evidently been written years before, and was inserted in the 
Guide without correction. For in the same book a different and 
up-to-date account is given of the Bersham Works, which are 
described as having belonged to " the late John Wilkinson, Esq." 

* That is, " the concern was first attempted in 1761," by the two 
brothers. Their father, as we have seen, had the works before 
them, and the furnace was in existence at least as early as 1724. 



may be ranked among the first in the kingdom. Besides the 
smelting furnaces, there are several air-fnrnaces for re-melting the 
pig iron, and casting it into cylinders, water pipes, boilers, pots, 
pans of all sizes, cannon and ball, etc. The cannon are cast solid 
and bored like a wooden pipe. There are also forges for making the 
cast-iron malleable, and a newly erected foundry. At a short 
distance [doubtless at Minora] is a mine of lead ore which is 
smelted upon the spot. Iron-stone and coal are also plentiful in 
the neighbourhood " (p. 1349). 

The following additional description from the same 
edition (1813) of the Ghiide, although relating to a later 
date, may also be here quoted : — 

The works of the late John Wilkinson, Esq., '* are situated at 
Pont y Penca,^ near Ecclusham,^ consisting of forges, slitting, 
rolling, and stamping mills, etc., with a large cannon foundry . . . 
Besides cannon and mortars, these works produce wheels, cogs, 
bars, pipes, cylinders, rollers, columns, pistons, etc. Sheet iron is 
made and manufactured into furnace boilers, steam caissons, and 
various articles which were formerly made of copper. Wire of 
every description is also here produced " (p. 1163). 

I have spoken of the guns made at Bersham. Many, if 
not most of the cannon used by the British armies during 
the Peninsular war (as well as those used by both armies 
in the Russian and Turkish warsj, were, in fact, made 
here, and they were fired, in proving them, in a particular 
spot, and so directed that the balls entered the bank 
which dips down to the river from " the Smelting-house 
Field " (see plan), in which bank many have since been 
found. It was commonly believed at the time that John 
Wilkinson supplied guns to the French also, and Mr. John 
Randall, in his account of the great iron-master, makes a 
statement on the subject, which I will quote in full : — 

" From the works at Bersham guns were sent off to the South 
for the purpose of being smuggled into France, and at Willey 
[another of John Wilkmson's works] a great number of cast iron 

^ A mistake for Pont y Pentre (see before). 
^ A misprint for Esclusham (see before). 



»■ * -w 

-.^ r 



pipes, under the name of * iron piping/ were got up for the purpose 
of supplying, in reality, the French with good gun metal. These 
were taken through a woodland country from Willey down Tarbach 
Dingle, by means of a tramway he constructed, to the banks of the 
Severn, where all the apparatus for a powder mill had been pro- 
vided, to he conveyed away from thence for shipping. Shropshire 
iron, for such purposes as this, had always been in request, and 
other firms during the war are said to have sent down blocks of iron 
under pretence of ballast for shipping, which in reality were for 
purposes mentioned above. They were taken down by barges to 
the Bristol Channel, and smuggled on board French vessels. Some 
of these pipes were no doubt bonâfide transactions, but othsrs, it is 
said, were not ; and Wilkinson's pipe-making was stopped by the 
Government, and numbers of pipes remained for years at the 
warehouse at the bottom of Gaughley Dingle." 

The two sketches of Bersham Works, reproductions of 
which are herewith appended, were made by Mr. John 
Westaway Rowe, and are now in the possession of his 
grand-daughter, Mrs. Robert Parry, of Derwen Lodge, 
Buabon Road, Wrexham, who is a daughter of Mr. 
William Rowe. In the first of the sketches, cannon are 
lying about in the foreground ; behind the boilers is the 
smith's shop, which is still in existence ; on the same side 
of the river to the far left is the White House, where Mr. 
William Rowe afterwards lived ; on the other side may be 
noted the octagonal building now used as a barn, and the 
cottages above the water mill : the blast-furnace, most of 
which still stands, is too much to the right of the water- 
fall to come into the picture. In the second sketch, the 
line of wretched cottages, called "Bunker's Hill," is 
visible at the top, so that the site of this portion of the 
works must be that of the disused paper mill which now 
stands just below the new Bersham Schools. 

No sooner had John Wilkinson got the Bersham Works 
into good going order than he began to establish himself 
in other places. The iron ore that he smelted at Bersham, 
and the coal wherewith he smelted it, had to be got out of 


other men's lands. This did not satisfy him. So he 
gradually acquired various estates, rich in iron and in coal, 
and bought or set up furnaces elsewhere. It may be well 
to set forth here a list of all the properties of whatever 
kind which he thus came to possess, giving, however, a 
detailed description of those only that were situate within 
the old parish of Wrexham. He acquired, I believe before 
1772, the manor and estate of Bradley, ;n the parish of 
Bilston, Staffordshire, where he had a large iron house, 
sundry iron-furnaces and rolling mills, brick works, 
pottery, canal wharf, many dwelling-houses, and much 
land. He bought of Mr. Emery the estate of Hadley, 
in the parish of Wellington, Shropshire, where were 
furnaces, a colliery, two farms, and several cottages. He 
leased of Squire Forester the Broseley Furnaces, in the 
parish of Willey, Shropshire, where he had also a colliery. 
He owned a considerable property also in Rotherhithe, 
where there were five quays, ten warehouses, etc., and he 
appears to have rented a wharf at Chester. He had 
mines of coal and iron-stone at Maes y grug, in the town- 
ship of Soughton, in the parish of Northop, Flintshire, 
together with a farmhouse there and fifty acres of land ; 
various mines of coal and iron-stone nearly adjoining 
Maes y grug, and lead smelting works, called ^^Llyn y 
Pandy Works," with four furnaces, in the township of 
Bistre, and parish of Mold. He had also a lease of four 
lime kilns, capable of producing 25,000 barrels of lime per 
annum, which belonged to the representatives of a certain 
Mr. John Lewis, and were situate at Ffrith, as well as of 
three other lime kilns on Hope Mountain, Flintshire, near 
the first four. 

One of the most curious of his acquisitions was Castle- 
head, which he converted into the chief place of the 
Wilson House estate, in the parish of Cartmel, Lan- 

1« t - ■ 


cashire, the district which his father had left to come to 
Bersham. Was this acquisition due to a sentimental 
reason — that of wishing to live near the scenes of his 
youth, or did he then intend to begin extensive mining 
and manufacturing operations in the rich mineral district 
of Fumess ? Castlehead itself was an island at low tide, 
and was so called from an ancient camp which crowned it. 
Here Mr. Wilkinson built a large house, and laid out 
gardens and shrubberies, the soil for which had to be 
brought from the mainland in horsed panniers. Finally, 
Mr. Wilkinson had many shares in various tin mines in 

I now come to speak of Mr. Wilkinson's estates, other 
than the leasehold estate of Bersham, within the old 
parish of Wrexham. I have already spoken of his having 
purchased Melin Buleston, or the Puleston Mills, which 
had before 1620 belonged to the Jeffreys, of Acton, and 
had afterwards passed into the possession of Mr. Grifl&th 
Speed, of Wrexham, from whom, or from whose widow 
Mr. Wilkinson bought it. It consisted of a mill, dwelling- 
house, outhouses, mill pools, and 5^ acres of land, ulti- 
mately increased to nearly 16 acres through the purchase 
by Mr. Wilkinson's executors of a portion of the Fawnog 
Fechan farm. He raised also, 1 believe in partnership 
with Mr. Richard Kirk (see History of Older Nonconformity 
of Wrexham^ p. 88) enormous quantities of lead ore at 
Cae Mynydd, Maes y ffynnon wen, Marrian, Eisteddfod, 
and other places within the township of Minera, upon 
lands leased from James Topping, Esq., the Corporation 
of Chester, and from others, and spent large sums of 
money in laying down engines for pumping the water 
from the various mines sunk there. Hence also he derived 
most of the limestone which he required for fluxing his 


But the largest estate which he acquired within the 
parish of Wrexham, and indeed, except that of Bradley, 
which he acquired anywhere, was that of Brymbo Hall, 
This was purchased about the year 1793, of Thos. Assheton 
Smith, Esq., and Mrs. Jane Wynne, the representatives of 
the ancient owners of it. What was the size of the estate 
when he first came into possession of it, I do not know. 
If we take it to have included the Penrhos Mawr, Mount 
Sion, and Mount Pleasant farms, it would have amounted 
to about 500 acres. It was rich in coal and iron stone, 
and included the fine mansion of Brjrmbo Hall, which now 
formed one of the four houses which he occasionally 
occupied. This estate Mr. Wilkinson considerably en- 
larged so that it ultimately came to include, not merely 
the farms already mentioned, but also those after-named : 
— The Ffrith (28J acres) ; the Lower Glascoed (78 acres) ; 
Pentre'r Saeson (137 acres) ; Ffynnon y Cwrw (38 acres) ; 
The Waen (76^ acres) ; Cefn Bychan (8^ acres) ; and the 
Gorse (5i acres), bringing up the area to something like 
872 acres. Of these farms some were purchased, and 
others. The Waen at any rate, were enclosed from the 
common. The following account from the Rev. Walter 
Davies' {Owallter Mechain) General View of the Agriculture 
and Domestic Economy of North Wales (published in 1810) 
is worth copying : — , 

*' The late John Wilkinson, Esq., had a farm of aboat 500 acres^ 
at Brymbo, near Wrexham. The situation is bleak, and the soil 
naturally poor, being a hungry clay upon a substratum of yellow 
rammel or coal schist, which in some places appears in the clay. 
However, by good tillage, and manuring with lime at the rate of 
ten tons per acre, it is so far improved that the tithes of corn, within 
the township, have advanced £10 a year in value, owing exclusively 
to his improvements. He had brought under cultivation 150 acres 
of wild heath till then abounding only in springs and furze. A 

^ That is about 500 acres in hand^ as already explained. 


crowned head had assisted him in making his compost manare. 
0£ia King of Mercia, had employed men to bring together the soil ; 
and Mr. Wilkinson went to the expense of lime to be mixed with it. 
Large cavities, of the shape of inverted cones, were cut at con- 
venient distances in Ofia's Dyke, which rans across Brymbo 
farm. The cavities were filled up with limestone and coal, and 
then burnt in the same manner as the sod kilns in the vale of 
Clwyd." , 

To what base uses are the great monuments of the past 
often put ! I may add that at the Brymbo farm Mr. 
Wilkinson erected a threshing machine, worked by steam, 
for he was an advanced "agriculturist as well as a great 

On the Brymbo estate Mr. Wilkinson erected by the 
side of the Minera and Chester road, the lead smelting- 
house which is still in existence (although turned to 
other uses), sank various coal and iron stone pits, and 
built a couple of blast furnaces, of which one is still 
standing, and the other was only pulled down in 1892. 
These were supposed capable of making 4,000 tons of 
pig-iron in a year. He (or his trustees) made also the 
famous level, called " Y Level Fawr," which must be 
nearly two miles long, and which, starting from near 
Brymbo HaU, opens into the Glascoed Valley. It is a low 
tunnel, and on the floor are both a channel for draining 
the mines, and a narrow tramway along which trucks were 
brought from the workings freighted with coal. The 
latter was thus delivered at a point quite close to the main 
road from Minera to Chester. By 1829, 41 pits had been 
sunk on the Brymbo Hall estate. 

It is a marvel that, in the absence of railways and even 
of good roads, one man should have been able to carry on 
profitably, at the same time, so many works, at such long 
distances apart. He could never have done so if he had 
not had, at each place, capable sub-managers whom he 


could inspire with something of his own energy, and 
whom he could trust to execute his plans. In fact, in 
nothing more did his genius show itself than in his recog- 
nition of character aud capacity, and in his selection of 
fitting agents and subordinates. 

The under-given verses, in praise of John Wilkinson 
and his achievements, are given in Mr. Randall's book. 
Mr. Randall rightly says that they were printed by J. 
Salter, of Oswestry^ ; but the late Mr. Edward Rowland, 
of Wrexham, a well-known collector of local books, once 
told me that they were also printed by Aime Tye, of 
Wrexham (see my History of Town of Wrexham, p. 19), in 
a little collection of songs called The Woodlark. I cannot, 
however, remember whether Mrs. Tye or Mr. Salter 
printed it first. As to the word "hough" in the 4th 
verse, Mr. Rowland told me that another reading was 
" though," but I expect it to be a mistake for " tough." 
I print the whole from a copy supplied to me by Mr. 
Rowland, who I understood to say, transcribed it from 
The Woodlark : — 

Ye workmen of Bersliam and Brymbo draw near, 
Sit down, take your pipe, and my song yon shall hear : 
I sing not of war or the state of the nation ; 
Such subjects as these prodace naught but vexation. 
Derry Down, Down, Derry Down. 

But before I proceed any more with my lingo. 
You shall [all] drink my toast in a bumper of stingo : 
Fill up, and without any farther parade, 
" John Wilkinson," boys, ** that supporter of trade." 
Derry Down, Down, etc. 

May all his endeavours be crowned with success. 
And his works, ever growing, posterity bless 1 
May his comforts increase with the length of his days, 
And his fame shine as bright as his furnaces' blaze 1 
Derry Down, etc. 

^ It will be found on page 189 of Salter's Grinning Made Easy. 


That the wood of old England would fail did appear, 
And hough^ iron was scarce, hecanse charcoal was dear, 
B^ puddling and stamping he prevented that evil, 
So the Swedes and the Russians may go to the devil. 

Derry Down, etc. 
Our thundering cannon too frequently hurst ; 
A mischief so great he prevented the first ; 
And now *tis well known, they never miscarry. 
But drive all our foes with a hlast to Old Harry. 

Derry Down, etc. 

Then let each jolly fellow take hold of his glass. 
And drink to the health of his friend and his lass. 
May he always have plenty of stingo and pence, 
And Wilkinson's fame hlaze a thousand years hence ! 
Derry Down, etc. 

The writer, whoever he was, of these lines, appears to 
attribute to John Wilkinson the first successful production 
of malleable iron by means of coke. Wilkinson may have 
introduced many and most important improvements into 
the manufacture of iron. Indeed, it is certain that he did 
so. But the achievement of first blasting ore, and of re- 
fining and puddling his pig iron thus obtained vrith pit- 
coal-coke, was the work of others who preceded him. 

John Wilkinson issued various halfpenny tokens in 
copper, as well as tokens in silver. As to the copper 
tokens the earliest known to me are those issued in 1787,^ 
which have on the obverse a likeness of John Wilkinson 
himself, the name being spelled " Wilkison,'" and on the 

^ Hough probaHy a misreading for tough, 

^ Similar tokens were issued afterwards (in 1788, 1790, 1792, and 
1793), hut differed from their prototype in some respects. In those 
of 1783 and 1790, the names on the edge are " Bersham, Bradley, 
Willey, Snedshill." In those of 1788 and 1790 the spelling " Wil- 
kison " is corrected, but in 1792 and 1793 it re-appears. What 
connection John Wilkinson had with Anglesea I do not certainly 
know, but I suspect he was a shareholder iu the Parys Mountain 
Copper Company. 

' I have since seen a token of the same year in which this spelling 
is corrected. 


reverse a representation of a tilt hammer, shown as about 
to descend upon an anvil, whereon a workman holds a 
mass of iron taken from a furnace ; on the edge are the 
names, ^^ Anglesey, London, or Liverpool." In 1788 
tokens were issued having on the reverse a ship in full 
sail (doubtless referring to Wilkinson's iron boats), on the 
obverse the same likeness of John Wilkinson, while on the 
edge are the names, "Bersham, Bradley, WiUey, Sneds- 
hill." On other tokens issued in 1790 is shown, on the 
reverse side a male figure, draped, seated, holding in one 
hand a cogged wheel, and in the other an instrument 
which looks like a drill, probably the drill used in boring 
cannon. Li the 1791 tokens, issued in 1791, 1792, and 
1793, the reverse shows a male figure, nude, seated, striking 
with a hammer a piece of iron which he holds on an anvil, 
while the rigging of a ship is shown just below, a most 
inartistic composition. In the tokens hitherto described 
the obverse is from the same design, but in those of 1793 
a fresh representation of John Wilkinson's head is given 
on the obverse, while on the reverse the design of 1791 and 
1792 is repeated. In the 1791 tokens of this class the name 
is spelled ^^ Wilkenson," and in those of 1792 and 1793, 
^* Wilkison." The legend on the edge varies every year : 
1791, "Bradley, Bersham, Willey, Snedshill''; 1792, 
"Payable at London or Anglesey"; and 1793, "At Bir- 
mingham, Brighton, and Liverpool." Another token, not 
dated, contains on the obverse the same design as is found 
on the tokens of 1788, while on the reverse is a crowned 
harp surrounded by the words "North Wales." Another 
token has on the reverse a female form, seated, holding a 
pair of scales, while where the date should be are the 
words " Mea pecunia." 

All the tokens known to me conform, more or less 


'\ t. 

** , 


closely, to one or other of the six types herewith repro- 

As to the silver tokens, I have seen one of these, in the 
possession of J. R. Burton, E3sq., of Minera Hall, dated 
1788, the design of which is identical in every respect with 
the copper tokens issued in the same year, containing, 
that is, on the reverse a ship in full sail. The exchange- 
able value of this coinage was, according to Mr. John 
Wilkinson's own statement, Ss. 6d. It commemorates the 
large iron boat which Wilkinson launched in July, 1787, 
at Willey Wharf, the first successor of the small iron boat 
which he had constructed years before at Lindal. Mr. 
Stockdale says that he has in his collection a silver token 
of the same design as that just described, but dated 1787, 
and worth ^^ about two shillings." It seems, therefore, 
that there were two issues of these tokens. In any case 
they are now exceedingly rare. Mr. Wilkinson at one time 
paid his workmen with leather tokens, which were duly 
cashed by the tradespeople of Wrexham. 

Mr. Wilkinson and his executors also issued guinea 
notes, a facsimile of one of which, in the possession of 
Edward Meredith Jones, Esq., of Wrexham,'^ I here re- 
produce. The Samuel Smith Adam who signed it (see 
History of Parish Church of Wrexham^ p. 114, note 236) 
was a son of Jas. Adam, Esq., of Runcorn (one of John 
Wilkinson's trustees), and lived, while his connection with 
the estate lasted, at Brymbo Hall. Denton Ackerley, 
whose name also appears on the note, I find described 
about this time as of " Has Wen, Broughton,'' but cannot 

^ These representations, of the actual size of the tokens, are 
reproduced from photographs kindly made for me by my friend 
Mr. R. H. Small wood, of Wrexham. 

^ This note was kindly photographed for me by my friend, Mr. 
R. H. Smallwood. 


guess where the house bearing this impossible name was 
situate. A Denton Ackerley was afterwards bailiflP of the 
Castlehead estate. The note contains, it will be observed, 
a representation of Mr. John Wilkinson's coat of arms, 
shown as a tail-piece to this essay. 

In connection with the mention made in the last para- 
graph of the notes circulated by John Wilkinson, the 
following letter, which Mr. Bandall has also printed, may 
be given. This letter was written by Whitehall Davies, 
Esq., of Broughton Hall, in Maelor Saesneg, to the first 
Lord Kenyon, and is taken from his lordship's Life by the 
Hon. Greorge T. Kenyon. 

Broughton^ December 19th, 1792. 
My Lord — I take the liberty to trouble your Lordship with 
another letter, in which I have enclosed an assignaty made payable 
at Bersham Furnace, endorsed ^ Gilbert Gilpin *: I am informed he 
is the first clerk of Mr. Wilkinson, whose sister married Doctor 
Priestly. With what view Mr. Wilkinson circulates assignats is 
best known to himself. It appears to me that good consequences 
cannot arise from their being made current, and that very pernici- 
ous effects may. Mr. Wilkinson at his foundry at Bersham (where 
I am informed he has now a very large number of cannon), and in 
his coal and lead mines, employs a considerable body of men. They 
are regularly paid every Saturday with assignats. The Presbyterian 
tradesmen receive them in payment for goods, by which intercourse 
they have frequent opportunities to corrupt the principles of that 
description of men by infusing into their minds the pernicious tenets 
of Paine*s Bights of Man, upon whose book I am told public 
lectures are delivered to a considerable number in the neighbour- 
hood of Wrexham, by a methodist. The pernicious effects of them 
are too evident in that parish» and . . . 

I am, with the utmost respect and gratitude. 
Your Lordship's most obliged and sincere humble servant, 

Peter WmiEHALL Davibs.^ 

^ I have compared and corrected this transcript with the letter 
given in the lésth Beport (Appendix, Part iv) of the Historical 
Manuscripts Commission, and find the following addition : ** Note 
in the handwriting of Chief Justice Kenyon—* This letter occasioned 
the Act of Parliament passed in January 1793, for preventing the 
negotiation of French paper in England.' " 







-.-1 ^<^ ' /^ T ' 

^ìt t ^ 


Mr. Davies' notion of the Presbyterian tradesmen 
corrupting the principles of such men as the " workmen of 
Bersham and Brymbo" then were, and of lectures being 
delivered on (and, as is suggested, in advocacy of) Paine's 
Rights of Man by a Methodist of 1792 is indescribably 
grotesque and delicious. 

A few years afterwards (in 1799) John Wilkinson was 
made high sheriff of Denbighshire. The Town Council of 
Wolverhampton possesses a portrait of him which has been 
reproduced in Mr. Eandall's book. Mr. Edward Jones, of 
Wellington, formerly of Brymbo, has another portrait of 
the great ironmaster. 

The erection of the works at Brymbo, and the purchase 

of the estate there, were probably due to the discontinuance 

of the Bersham Works, and I had better explain the cause 

of this discontinuance in Mr. Stockdale's own words : — 

" For some time before the end of last century, John Wilkinson 
had taken his brother [William] into partnership in all his iron 
works, but from the very first it was unlikely that two such clever, 
determined, and most intractable men should long continue friends ; 
accordingly, in a very few years, a quarrel past all reconciliation 
took place, and then a tooth and nail combat ensued, in its results 
almost ludicrous. Wm. Wilkinson . . . collected ... a 
£[reat number of men in the town of Wrexham in Wales, and marched 
with them to the large iron works at Bersham, and there, with 
sledge hammer and other instruments, began to break up the ex- 
pensive machinery. On intelligence of this reaching John Wilkin- 
son, he collected a still greater number of men, and followed exactly 
his brother's example, so that in a very short time the famous 
Bersham Iron Works became a great wreck, each brother appro- 
priating to himself as much of the spoil as came within his reach. 
Perhaps these two wise brothers thought this the most politic way 
of dissolving partnership, and dividing the effects, each knowing 
right well the other's mule-like stubbornness, and that a chancery 
suit, under the circumstances, might have made a complete wreck 
of the property." 

1 do not doubt, from what I can learn, that the foregoing 
account is svhstantially correct, but I suspect that John 


Wilkinson had admitted his brother into partnership in 
the Bersham Works only^ and that the motive for 
William's attack upon those Works was due to John's 
erection of new Works at Brymbo, and to his refusal to 
allow William to become a partner in the new enterprise 
there. Mr. Stockdale's account does not explain the fact 
that no similar attack was made on the other works of 
John Wilkinson, nor the other fact that the latter was 
allowed to remain in undisturbed possession of all his 
other property, and even of the land and undestroyed 
buildings at Bersham. For many of the workshops at the 
last-named place were spared, and remain to this day, and 
were actually used as iron-works long after WiUiam 
Wilkinson's attack upon them and after John Wilkinson's 
death. But that many buildings were puUed down and 
the machinery destroyed seems certain. 

Before I carry on my account of John Wilkinson, it may 
be well to say aU that remains to be said of his brother 
William. He was living in 1797, and for some time before 
and after, at The Court, Wrexham, which house his brother 
John had just left, but a little later removed to Plas Grono, 
where his father had lived before him. He had previously 
spent much of his time in IVance, and was engaged in 
various undertakings there connected with his own trade. 
Perhaps it is of one of these undertakings that Arthur 
Young speaks, in 1794, in the following extiuct from his 
Travels in France : 

'* Mont Cenis. — It is the seat of one of ' Mens. Weelkinsong's ' 
estabhahmeuts for casting and boring cannon. I have already 
described one near Nantes. The French say that this Englishman 
is brother-in-law of Dr. Priestley, and that he tanght them to bore 
cannon in order to give liberty to America." 

Mr. Stockdale, in his Anrudes GarmoelenseSy gives an 
amusing account of the stir William Wilkinson caused in 



the parish of Cartmel by indicting many of the public 
highways here. 

William Wilkinson was a shareholder in the Paris 
Water Works Company, which was constituted for supply- 
ing the whole of the city of Paris with water. This 
company gave to John Wilkinson the contract for the 
forty miles of water pipes which it required, and at 
Creuzot, John Wilkinson set up the first steam engine 
which had ever been seen in France. For his share in 
these water works, Mr. Stockdale says, William Wilkinson 
ultimately received £10,000. 

" Nimrod " (Mr. Charles James Apperley) whose father 
Uved at Plas Grono, while William Wilkinson was still 
living at the Court, says in his Life and Times that the 
latter was "one of those no-god no-devil sort of men 
which prevailed to a certain extent even in England at 
that period." William Wilkinson was, it is likely enough, 
an emphatic Radical and Unitarian, but he certainly was 
not an Atheist ; he was a member of the Presbyterian 
Congregation, meeting at the Chester Street Chapel, and 
there his two infant daughters were baptized. " Nimrod " 
goes on to say that "setting aside his ultra-Radical 
principles, more rare in those days than in the present, 
there was nothing against the moral conduct of the iron- 
master, who, by the way, was a most entertaining companion, 
and quite a man of the world, in the true acceptation of 
the term, for he visited all countries, and he was occasion- 
ally a guest at Plasgronow, as well as at Erthig,^ my 
father overlooking his political principles for the benefit 
of his society, and the general fund of information he 
possessed." At last, however, "he was suspected of supply- 
ing the French nation with cannon, as also of affording 

^ Erddig, the seat of Philip Yorke, Esq., the well-known author of 
The Boyal Tribes of Wales. 


them other assistance, to the detriment of his own country. 
The only effect this charge against the iron-master had 
upon Mr. Torke was to induce him to change the familiar 
term by which it was his habit to address him of ^ Neigh- 
bour Will ' into ^ Wicked Will/ and he continued to be 
a guest at the Erthig dinner table." 

Mr. William Wilkinson married a daughter of James 
Stockdale, of Carke, Lancashire, and had at least two 
children, daughters, Mary Anne, bom Nov. 27, 1795, and 
Elizabeth Stockdale, bom June 17, 1799- Mr. Wilkinson 
himself died in 1808, and was buried in the Dissenters' 
Qrave Yard, Wrexham, where no monument of him can now 
be found.^ An old friend of mine, who remembers the sale 
at Plas Grono, tells me that his father bought there some of 
William Wilkinson's books, and says that on the bookplate 
was, to use his own words, "a chevron between three 

John Wilkinson had some capital assistants. Almost 
from the first year that the two brothers took the Bersham 
Works, they had in their employment there a clerk named 
Benjamin Gilpin. Gilbert Gilpin, the eldest son of this 
last, who was bom Feb. 8, 1766, and was baptized at 
Wrexham Church on March 8 following, turned out, when 
he grew up, a very clever young man, and passed into 
John's employment. But he soon left him, and after 
various adventures, settled down at Coalport, near Shifnal, 
Shropshire, where he began to manufacture pit-chains for 
bawling, of a type so superior to any that had been made 
before, that the Society of Arts in 1805 presented him 
with a silver-mounted purse containing thirty guineas 
(Randall). He ultimately settled at Dawley, Shropshire, 

^ " William Wilkinson, Esq., of Plasgronow, was buried March 5, 
1808, in the DissenterR* Burying Ground." Extract from Register 
of Presbyterian Chapel, Chester Street, Wrexham. 


where he issued, 'tis said, half-penny and shilling tokens. 
He died Oct. 18, 1827, and was buried in Wrexham 
churchyard, where his tomb and that of his father may 
still be seen;^ Gilbert Gilpin's sister, Elizabeth, married 
Mr. John Williams, draper, of Church Street, Wrexham, 
and became the mother of the first wife of the late Mr. T. 
C. Joues, J.P.> of Wrexham, who succeeded his father-in- 
law in his business. 

John Wilkinson brought with him from Bradley a young 
man, William Rowe by name, son of the John Westaway 
Rowe, already mentioned, whom he utilized for many 
years as engineer and surveyor at Bersham and Brymbo. 
After Mr. Wilkinson's death, his executors continued to 
employ him, and he lived at the White House, Bersham. 
He married, Jan. 21, 1831, Margaret Elizabeth Jones, 
daughter of Mr. Thomas Jones, gunsmith, of Town Hill, 
Wrexham, and sister of Thomas Cambria Jones, the poet, 
he being then 42 years old, and she 20 years younger. He 
subsequently lived at Mount Street House, Wrexham (now 
the offices of Messrs. F. W. Soames & Co.), and died 
Feb. 3, 1860, aged 71. 

Another of John Wilkinson's agents was Mr. Hugh 
Meredith, of Plas Gwyn, Minera. A letter addressed to 
him by the iron-master, now in the possession of Mr. R. 
Parry, of Westcot, Hoole Road, Chester, is, I think, 
worthy of being printed. 

Bradley Iron WorTca^ nr» Wolverhampton, 4 Oct., 1799, 

*' Sir, — Mr. T. Jones has mentioned to me your declining, on 
Account of your Health, to take the charge of my Smelting Works 

^ For a further account of Gilbert Gilpin, Mr. Randall's book on 
John Wilkinson may be consulted. Mrs. T. G. Jones, of Leeswood 
House, Wrexham, possesses a good portrait of him in oil, and also 
a medal presented to Gilpin by some London Society for the 
promotion of Arts and Commerce, "for a beam for raising weights.*' 



at Brymbo, which I shonld have been glad you had done, if it had 
been agreeable to yourself, as it is my wish that you should not in 
any degree be in a worse situation from any changes that take 

" It is my Intention to build one or two additional Furnaces to 
my present works, which, when done, I must purchase the different 
ores which you used to have to Coedpoeth, and as you are 
acquainted with that Branch of the Business, shall be glad if you 
will take upon you the buying for me, I making an allowance to you 
for it. 

*' From your recommendation I will get you to make an Agree- 
ment with John Bond to attend my Smelting Works and the Ore 
Weighings—the Wages or Salary I leave to you to fix with him— I 
could also wish you to engage the two Smelters, if possible, which 
Wm. Jones mentioned as being good workmen. 

'* I find from T. Jones that an Account of the Coals wanted for the 
furnace at Brymbo, and the large quantity which must be raised to 
select a sufficiency from for the Furnace supply, that they now begin 
to stock the Coal, notwithstanding the Season for Sale has been lately 
at its height, and as my stock must necessarily very much increase, 
unless some means are found to force a Sale — I am under the 
necessity of giving directions to lower the price to the Country from 
six to Five shillings the Pit Ton — and as this may in some degree 
affect the Sale at Coedpoeth, I will be obliged to you to mention 
the Circumstance and the reason to Mr. Moore, who is now, I 
understand, in the Country— that he may not suppose I have any 
views inimical to Lord Orosvenor*s Interest, or that of the Coal 
Masters in the Neighbourhood, which he cannot attribute to me 
when he is acquainted with my Situation. 

" I mentioned this to him some time ago as a thing that was 
certain to take place at a future Day— and as that time is arrived 
that I have no alternative, for at one pit only I shall rise 200 Tons 
weekly. I wish him again to be informed of it. 

** You are not unacquainted that Whitley has got to his Coal in 
the Neighbourhood of Mold, which will take part of the sale from 
the Vale of Clwydd— and is an additional reason for my endeavour- 
ing to keep what Sale I can to the Brymbo Pits. 

" I am. Sir, 

" Your very obedient servant, 

(Signed) "John Wilkinson. 

** P.S. — T. J. will wait on you when he returns, which will not be 


There is something about this letter which I like. 
Wilkinson's honesty and frankness, the friendliness with 
which he treated his assistants, the trust he reposed in 
them, are revealed in it. The letter shows also how com- 
pletely the iron-master kept in touch with all the details 
of his many and vast operations. 

One of the workmen at Bersham furnace was John 
Waithman, a joiner. He married at Wrexham, Jan. 29, 
1761, one Mary Roberts, and died July 1764. It is almost 
as certain as can be that these were the parents of the 
celebrated Radical, Alderman Robert Waithman, of Fleet 
Street, London, whose memory one of the two obelisks at 
Faringdon Circus commemorates. The widow Waithman 
married Sept. 9, 1776, Thomas Mires, a furnace-man, a 
marriage which perhaps led young Robert to leave home, 
and go first to Reading and afterwards to London. 

Spite of Mr. John Wilkinson's obstinacy and the 
violence of his temper, he was an exceedingly generous 
man. He was accustomed to pension off, in their old age, 
those who had served him well. Very generous he was 
also to other people. This, for example, is what his 
brother-in-law. Dr. Priestley, says of him : — " The favours 
that I received from my two brothers-in-law deserve my 
most grateful acknowledgments. They acted the part of 
kind and generous relatives, especially at the time when I 
most wanted assistance. It was in consequence of Mr. 
John Wilkinson's proposal, who wished to have us nearer 
to him, that being undetermined where to settle, I fixed 
on Birmingham, where he soon provided a house for me." 
We learn also from Rutt's Life and Correspondence of Dr. 
Joseph Priestley (Vol. ii, p. 121) that after the Doctor's 
house was wrecked by the " Church and King " rioters, 
and his furniture, books, papers, and scientific apparatus 
destroyed, John Wilkinson sent him £500, and transferred 


to his name £10,000, which he had deposited in the French 
funds, allowing him, till that investment should be produc- 
tive, £200 a year. 

But although Mr. Wilkinson had many virtues, he was 
not, as already has been hinted, without his vices also. 
And in particular, it must now be said, that when he was 
himself an old man and his second wife still alive, he 
became acquainted with a certain Ann Lewis (a servant, I 
have heard, at one of his houses), and had by her three 
children, namely, Mary Ann, born July 27, 1802 ; Johnina, 
born August 6, 1805 ; and John, the youngest, the date of 
whose birth I do not know, but who was bom when his 
father was more than 77 years old. John Wilkinson's 
second wife having died, a warrant was obtained, under ^Hhe 
king's royal sign manual," to enable these three children, 
as well as their mother, to bear the name of Wilkinson. 
Of their subsequent history something will hereafter be 

Mr. John Wilkinson died in his house at Hadley, July 
14, 1808, at the age of 80, and was buried, according to 
his desire, in his garden at Castlehead. He had wished 
to be buried in an iron coffin, and one had been prepared, 
but was found to be too small to hold the leaden and 
wooden shells in which the body had been brought from 
Hadley. How the body had to be re-buried when the larger 
cof&n had been at last made; how it had to be again 
disinterred because the rock in the spot where the grave 
had been dug came so near the surface that the coffin was 
scarcely covered with soil ; and how, finally, in 1828, when 
the estate was about to be sold, the body was again dis- 
interred, and buried beneath the Castlehead pew in Lindal 
Chapel — all this has already been many times told. John 
Wilkinson had had his daughter in like manner buried in 
his garden at Bradley, and her body was, Mr. Randall tells 


US, four times removed before it was allowed to rest in 
peace {Ann. Garm.^ pp. 220 & 221). 

Mr. Bandall has given us the epitaph which Mr. 
Wilkinson had himself prepared to be placed upon his 
monument : — 

" Delivered from Persecution of Malice and Envy Here Rests John 
Wilkinson, Iron Master, In certain hope of a better estate and 
Heavenly Mansion, as promulgated by Jesus Christ in whose 
Gospel be was a firm believer. His Life was spent in action for 
the benefit of man, and he trusts in some degree to the glory of 
God [as his different works that remain in various parts of the 
kingdom are testimonies of increasing labour, until death released 
him the day of 18 » at the advanced age 

of y ' 

Mr, Wilkinson's executors were not satisfied with the 
above-named inscription, and substituted for it the follow- 
ing, which was duly placed upon the coffin. 

" John Wilkinson, ironmaster, who died 14th July, 1808, aged 80 
years. His different works in various parts of the kingdom are 
lasting testimony of his unceasing labours. His life was spent in 
action for the benefit of man, and, as he presumed humbly to hope, 
to the glory of God.'* 

Over the grave in Castlehead garden was raised, accord- 
ing to the dead man's desire, a huge pyramid of iron, for 
a memorial, which was cleared away when the body was 
removed, in 1828, to Lindal Chapel. 

I must now say something of John Wilkinson's illegiti- 
mate children, who were authorized, it will be remembered, 
to assume their father's name. Of these, the eldest, Mary 
Ann, married (May 24, 1821) at Cartmel Church, William 
Legh, gent., of Hordley, Hants, second illegitimate son of 
Thomas Peter Legh, Esq., of Lyme Hall, Cheshire, by 
whom she became mother of the first Lord Newton, of 

^ This epitaph differs somewhat from that given by Mr. Stockdale, 
who omits the portion I have placed in square brackets 


Lyme,' who as William John Legh, Esq., was for many 
years Member of Parliament, successively, for South 
Lancashire and East Cheshire. Mr. and Mrs. William 
Legh lived for some time at Brymbo Hall, and two of their 
children (Blanche Calvert, baptized Dec. 12, 1832, and 
William FitzJames, baptized Feb. 25, 1834) were baptized 
at Wrexham Church. Mrs. William Legh died at Bebing- 
ton, October 13, 1838. Johnina, the second daughter 
of Mr. John Wilkinson, married Alexander Murray, 
Esq., of Polmaise, Stirlingshire, who died June 5, 
1835, aged 32, at Brymbo Hall, and was buried at 
Wrexham. John Wilkinson, the only son, was educated 
at Christ's College, Cambridge, and, in 1808, £700 were 
paid to him to purchase a commission in the army, and to 
pay sundry debts. Two years later, he was arrested for 
debt in London, and detained at the offices of the under 
sheriff. He subsequently went to America and never 
returned. There he married, and a few years ago his son 
visited Brymbo to see the old Hall and Works, and to chat 
with some of the old people who remembered his father.^ 
The mother of these three children, Ann Lewis, otherwise 
Wilkinson, married in 1824 one Thomas Milson, and she 
appears afterwards to have been constantly involved in 
pecuniary difficulties. 

It is time now to explain the provisions of Mr. John 
Wilkinson's will (dated November 29, 1806) and of its 
codicils, treating them as all one. The testator devised 
his niansion at Castlehead and an annuity to his wife (who 

^ Lord Newton was the fourth of eight children of Wm. and Mary 
Anne Legh, and eucceeded his uncle (Thos. Legh, Esq.)» at Lyme, 
in 1857. 

'^ I am assured that the Miss Janet Wilkinson, of Brymbo Hall, 
who in 1840 published " Sketches and Legends among the Moun- 
tains of North Wales," was in no way related to the great iron- 


soon afterwards died) with the provision that after her 
decease, the said mansion, with the furniture, etc., there 
should be enjoyed by Ann Lewis for the term of her life, 
if she should remain so long unmarried. He left all the 
rest of his property in land, securities, ready money, stock, 
debts, etc., to Ann Lewis ; James Adam, Esq., of Runcorn ; 
William Vaughan, Esq., of the city of London ; William 
Smith, Esq., of Birmingham ; and Samuel Fereday, Esq., 
of Ettingshall Park, in the parish of Sedgeley, Stafford- 
shire, in trust for 21 years, to carry on his works at Bradley, 
and Brymbo, and elsewhere, and at the end of 21 years 
" to the children which he might have by the aforesaid 
Ann Lewis, and living at his decease, or bom within six 
months after, equally to be divided between such children 
and their heirs, share and share alike," and if there were 
no sudh children, to his nephew, Thomas Jones, and to his 
heirs, provided he or they took the name of Wilkinson. 
He left also an annuity of £200 to Ann Lewis, while she 
remained unmarried, and annuities not exceeding £200 
during the term of the trust to each of his children by her. 

Mr. Fereday, one of the trustees named in Mr. 
Wilkinson's will, soon after the testator's death relin- 
quished his trust, and I believe Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Vaughan, two of the other trustees, died not very long 
after, so that Mr Ad^m and Mrs. Wilkinson were alone 
left to fulfil the duties of the rest. 

The trustees never attempted, so far as I can make out, 
to carry on, after Mr. Wilkinson's death, the undestroyed 
portion of Bersham Works. The latter were let, until 
about the year 1815, to Messrs. Thomas Jones and Company, 
Mr. Jones being the only son of William Jones, Esq., of 
Llanerchrugog Hall. Then, Messrs. Ayton [or Aydon] and 
Alwall are mentioned in connection with the Works, and 
again in 1819, Messrs. Poole & Company. After this latter 


date^ a portion being let as a smithy to Edward Mullard, 
the rest was left to fall into decay. The Brymbo, 
Hadley, and other Works were carried on by the 
executors for a while, though afterwards, in the general 
confusion produced by the prolonged legal proceedings, 
of which I shall presently have to speak, it was thought 
better to let them. Thus, in 1828, the Brymbo Works 
were let to Messrs. John and James Thompson at a rent of 
nearly £1600 a year. 

The value of Mr. Wilkinson's estates and other property 
when he died was immense. Even in 1824, when things 
were falling into confusion, the Brymbo estate yielded, 
with the rent of the ironworks, £2829 Is. 6d. yearly ; the 
Bersham estate, without the works, but with the rent of 
the Telen Buleston property, £577 10s. ; the Llyn y pandy 
property yielded £120 18s. yearly; the Maesy grug pro- 
perty £44; the Bradley estate £3953 4s.; the Hadley 
estate £1685 9s. 4d. ; and the Castlehead estate £648 18s. 
lOd., in all £9758 16s. 8d. of gross annual receipts. These 
rents afford but little index to the value of the property 
when Mr. Wilkinson died. In 1824 the master directing 
mind was long gone. Some of the managers were demor- 
alized by the manifest ruin which impended over the 
estate ; others looked only after their own interests ; a few 
were loyal. But the demands of the lawyers swallowed up 
all profits, and remained still unsatisfied. Mr. James 
Adam received, in 1815, after the peace with France, an 
enormous sum of money, representing Mr. John Wilkin- 
son's share in the Paris Waterworks. But all went in the 
same way. Mr. Adam died July 1823, and in 1824 
Thomas Turner, Esq., was appointed receiver, and 
upon his death, in 1826, James Eyrke, Esq., of Ffrith 
Lodge, became receiver in his stead. Ultimately, nothing 
was left tŵ be received. 


Before, however, 1 enter into the details of the final 
break-up of this fine property, it will be necessary to set 
forth specifically the cause of that break-up. Mr. Thomas 
Jones Wilkinson, John Wilkinson's nephew and residuary 
legatee, relying upon the illegitimacy of his uncle's 
children, and upon the fact that they were not mentioned 
by name in his will, laid claim to the whole property. The 
case dragged on for seven years and was taken from court 
to court until it came before the Lord Chancellor. Up to this 
point tlie decision was in every case given in favour of the 
plaintiff. But Lord Eldon, who was Lord Chancellor, 
is said to have sent for the plaintiff before he gave 
judgment, and asked him what provision he intended 
to make, in the event of a decision being given in his 
favour, for the defendants — his uncle's children. On his 
replying that he intended to make no provision. Lord Eldon's 
mind was made up. At all events, he gave judgment 
for the defendants. Mr. Jones Wilkinson then filed a 
bill in Chancery to restrain Mr. James Adam from 
further interfering in the management of the estate, 
but this demand also, after a long hearing was refused. 
Mr. Thomas Jones Wilkinson became bankrupt, as also 
did Mr. Samuel Fereday (one of the trustees named 
in Mr. John Wilkinson's will) who had backed him up, 
and other persons who had lent him money lost it. 

The Wilkinson estate also became hopelessly involved, 
and by a decree of Chancery in 1828, the greater part was 
ordered to b*^ sold in order to meet the claims upon it. It 
could only be disposed of piecemeal. The Rotherhithe 
property was sold in 1829, by private treaty, for £3400. 
By public auction, held at the Wynnstay Arms, Wrexham, 
in April of the same year, the Ff rith farm in Brymbo was 
knocked down for £2500 to Serjeant David Francis Jones, 
afterwards Serjeant Atcherley, who wanted it to enlarge 


the Cymmau Hall estate. Mr. James Kyrke and others 
bought other farms added by Mr. Wilkinson to the 
Brymbo Hall estate, which was now brought down again 
to what I take to have been its original limits of about 
500 acres, so as to include only the Hall itself, the demesne 
faim, and the farms called Mount Sion, Mount Pleasant, 
and Pen Rhos Ucha. The leasehold property at Bersham 
containing the Bersham Works, was sold to Thomas 
Fitzhugh, Esq., of Plas Power. 

And so this strange but true history shows us that 
whatever John Wilkinson did which was fitted to help and 
improve his fellow creatures remained, but that what he 
did unrighteously, and for merely selfish ends, had in it no 
root of permanence. 

This paper is not intended to be exhaustive of its 
subject, but only to supplement, by the results of my own 
researches, Itandall's Life of John Wilkinson, and Stock- 
dale's Annates Carmoelenses^ to both of which books I have 
been greatly indebted for the knowledge of various facts 
necessary to weave my notes into a connected narrative. 


Just as I was about to send the foregoing paper to the 
printers, I received from Mr. Wm. Gregory Norris, of 
Coalbrookdale, a mass of extracts from old letters and from 
the diaries of John Kelsall (clerk to Mr. Charles Lloyd, of 
Dolobran), throwing a flood of light on the early history of 
Bersham Furnace. These details confirm all the state- 
ments made in the first part of my paper. But they also 
supplement my own account, and give precise and full 
particulars, where the materials to which I had access were 
only sufficient to afford a general sketch. At this juncture, 


when the printers are clamouring for "copy," I do not 
propose to re-write the first few pages of the manuscript, 
and yet I cannot let the latter go without adding a short 
appendix, expressing at the same time my hope that Mr. 
JS'orris will publish in f uU the important facts of which he 
has cognizance. 

In the first place, my conviction that the Mr. Charles 
Lloyd, who had a lease of Bersham Furnace in 1724, was 
Mr. Lloyd^ of Dolobran, the well-known Quaker, is shown 
to be well-founded, but Mr. Norris is able to carry the 
existence of the Furnace, and its rental by Mr. Lloyd 
from John Eoberts, Esq., four years further back — to 1720, 
namely. And here I may re-iterate my belief, not yet 
confirmed, that the Furnace was built even earlier than 
that date. 

Mr. Lloyd carried on a Forge (rebuilt in 1719) at 
Dolobran itself as well as at Bersham, and was possibly 
interested in the Forge at LlansantflPraid near Aberystwyth. 
He had business connections with Abraham Darby of 
Coalbrookdale and with many other of the old Shropshire 
and Worcester iron-masters. Mr. Darby had commenced a 
Furnace at Dolgun, near Dolgelley, which was afterwards 
worked for some years " by acquaintances of the Lloyds, 
resident near Dudley." 

In 1720, Daniel Brown was "founder" at Bersham, 
and Edward Davies, " clerk," and in the year following 
the use of charcoal was discontinued there for smelting 
and coal employed instead, the fuel being obtained from 
pits at The Rhos (Rhosllanerchrugog) belonging to 
Thomas Meredith, Esq., of Pentrebychan. 

About 1726, Mr. Lloyd began to be involved in financial 

^ Charles Lloyd, the son of Charles Lloyd, the first of that name, 
of Dolobran, who joined the " Friends " in 1662 (see Richard Davies' 


troubles, and Edward Davies, his Bersham clerk, thereupon 
erected a forge in Abenbury Fechan, near the King's Mill, 
Wrexham.^ Thomas Astley was the new clerk at Bersham, 
and in the year that followed Mr. Lloyd was obliged to 
make a composition with his creditors, his share in the 
Works being disposed of to Mr. John Hawkins. This Mr. 
Hawkins was a son-in-law of Abraham Darby, but not 
himself a Quaker, for I find that a child of his was 
baptized at Wrexham Church.* He himself had his 
pecuniary difficulties to contend with, but apparently 
surmounted them, evidently through the assistance of his 
brother-in-law, Mr. Richard Ford, of Coalbrookdale, and 
in 1733 was turning out nearly five tons of "pigs'' a week [ 
After his death, in 1739, the business was, as I have 
already said, carried on by his widow, helped, I now 
learn, by her son, John Hawkins, junior. 

The "Mr. Ivy'' mentioned in the footnote to page 4, 
was probably Daniel Ivy, or Ivie, who in 1732 was working 
Buabon Furnace, but was afterwards (by the year 1735) 
compelled to relinquish it, being unable to produce more 
than three tons a week of iron, and "that as white as 
silver," so that he "can scarce get it out of the hearth." 

The successful smelting of iron-stone with coke, and 
afterwards with uncoked coal, was only achieved after 

^ Edward Davies became insolvent in 1837, but his forge continued 
to be worked by himself and others, and ultimately came under the 
control of the Wilkinsons, as already related (see p. 10). 

^ I may as well copy here, oat of the Wrexham Parish Registers, 
all the entries referring to Mr. Hawkins : — 

Aug. 15, 1733 — Abraham, son of Mr. John Hawkins, of Bersham 

born ye 26th ; bap. ye 15th. 
Dec. 3, 1736 — Abraham, son of Mr. Hawkins, of Bersham, buried. 
January 4th, 1738-9— Susan, child of Mr. Hawkins, of Bersham 

Furnace, buried. 
Nov. 14, 1739 — Mr. Hawkins, of Bersham Furnace, buried. 
Nov. 28, 1739— Sarah^ dau. of Mr. Hawkins, of ye Furnace, born 24 
[? bapt. or buried]. 


innumerable failures, and after many a man who attempted 
it had lost his entire fortune. Others have schemed and 
laboured, and we are entered into their labours. 

It will have been observed that all those who worked 
Bersham Furnace, before the time of the Wilkinsons, were 
either members of the Society of Friends, or in some way 
connected with that Society. 1 may add that the Mr. 
[Benjamin] Harvey mentioned on page 4, was also a 
" bom Friend," being the son of Mr. Benjamin Harvey, 
the elder,^ and related to the Darby family, and his 
mother, a daughter of Joshua Gee, of London, and after- 
wards of Tern, Shropshire, and of Frizzinton, Cumberland.* 
He and his associates seem to have acquired the lease of 
Bersham Furnace from Mrs. Hawkins and her son. His 
uncle, Thomas Serjeant Harvey, was in 1 726 working a 
colliery at Grardden, between Wrexham and Ruabon. This 
Benjamin Harvey, the younger, lived, not at Bersham, but 
in Wrexham Regis, and on July 10, 1753, being then 23 
years of age, renounced Quakerism, and was baptized 
at Wrexham Church, where also his child, William (bom 
Feb. 5th) was baptized, March 7, 1755. Under what 
circumstances the interests of the Harveys in Bersham 
Works ceased cannot now be traced. 

I have hinted that the vast superstructure which John 
Wilkinson raised, rested more than was acknowledged on 
the foundations which others, his predecessors, laid. Mr. 
Norris says : — " I do not suggest any disparagement of 
John Wilkinson, but I consider other persons, perhaps 

^ Thomas Harvey married Hannah Serjeant (a sister of the wife 
of Abraham Darb]/) in 1699, was largely engaged in the iron-trade, 
and died in 1731 leaving two sons, Thomas Sergeant Harvey and 
Benjamin Harvey, the elder. 

^ This Mr. Gee published in 1727 a book entitled The Trade and 
Navigation of Great Britain Considered. This also 1 learn from 
Mr. Norris, 


less energetic, but equally capable, quietly opened the 
way which he and others were able to follow to their 
[own] great advantage." 

And now I must conclude with the expression of my 
great indebtedness to Mr. Norris for the additional infor- 
mation I owe to him, and which I have presented in this 

A. N. P. 

Wrexhaniy June 16^ 1898, 






In a certain sense, music is a universal language that 
knows neither race nor clime. But though this may be 
true, music has many idioms. 1 invite you to a con- 
sideration and a hearing of some of the folk-music of 
Wales — ^that music which has neither author nor com- 
poser, but forms the anonymous inheritance of the people. 

The origin of Welsh music is lost in the mists of 
mythology and the uncertainty of early days. The 
beginnings of music may be traced to the cradle of the 
human race ; at the very dawn of civilisation the music 
of nature afiPected and influenced the minds ojf men. The 
voices of birds and insects, the fluttering leaves, the 
rushing rivers and the sad murmur of the sea, were the 
primitive lessons and examples of modulated tones. 
Gradually the skill and art of man imitated and repro- 
duced the sounds of nature. 

In pre-historic times music passed through three stages 
of development, and each stage was characterised by a 
special class of instrument. The elementary period of 
percussion represented by cymbals, drums and bells was 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Gymmrodorion, at 20, 
Hanover Square, on Thursday, 26th March, 1898. Chairman : The 
Hon. William N, Bruce. 

■ \ » f «- »-^ 


succeeded by the stage of wind instruments, which in turn 
were followed by stringed instruments. These three 
stages mark the progress from a period where the organ 
of time developed into the sense of Tune. 

It would serve no useful purpose to discuss whether the 
Britons biought over their music with them on their 
original migration from the East, or whether they bor- 
rowed it from the Phoenicians with whom they caifie into 
commercial contact, or whether they learnt it from the 
Greeks. This, at least, is certain, that from the earliest 
times the Welsh showed a very marked gift for poetry 
and music. 

Before the Welsh first woke to the sounds of Roman 
arms, they had made some progress in the art of music. 
Princes and Kings varied their prowess in the field with 
accomplishments in the domain of song. The Druids were, 
as Tacitus describes them, the Masters of Wisdom and 
monopolised the knowledge of Arts and Science. They 
were the divines, philosophers, physicians, legislators, 
prophets, historians, musicians, heralds and antiquaries of 
the Ancient Britons. Gradually music, instead of being 
the means of delivering words effectively, became an art 
of producing sounds harmoniously, and at this stage the 
musician parted company with the bard. The three per- 
petual choirs at Glastonbury, Salisbury, and Bangor-is-y- 
Coed have left no traces : 2,400 voices at each place 
supplied a choir of 100 for each of the 24 hours, and 
chanted in rotation without intermission. 

As the Druidic cult fell into decay, and the Druids were 
expelled, the history of Britain is lost in uncertain tradi- 
tions. But the song of the soil survived the national 
disasters, and bard-musicians sang the records of their 
day and clung to their old privileges. It was regarded as 
unlawf id to commit their verses to writing, and in this 


way, the mystery of their learning, and the value of their 
services, were preserved. Thus, there was an oral sue- ■ 
cession of carefully-prepared verses. They embodied the 
varied information of the time, and were called Pen-illion, 
or Head-lines, because they were learnt by heart, or rather 
by head, and never desecrated or vulgarised by written 
publication. This was the origin of the triads which con- 
tained the chronicles and deductions of early times. 

The first four centuries of the Christian era were dark 
ages spent in fighting against great odds, but in the 
commencement of the fifth century there was a revival 
of national and musical life. In the middle of the 
seventh century. King Cadwaladr presided at an Eis- 
teddfod which gave new laws to music and poetry ; and 
Friar. John of St. David's is said to have been appointed 
the first Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. 
Morva Bhuddlan is supposed to have been written in 795 by 
Caradog's bard, immediately after the disastrous battle in 
Flintshire, when the king of North Wales was defeated 
and killed, and his army perished by the sword and the 
tide of the sea. 

The Laws of Hywel Dda (942) prove that at that time 
the Bards were held in high esteem, and were entitled to 
various privileges, rewards, and fees. The Laureate Bard 
(YBardd Teulu) was the eighth officer of the King's house- 
hold. The Chief Bard of the district {Y Pencerdd) was 
the tenth officer in rank. 

For one hundred and fifty years Music and Poetry were 

united in the same person. They enjoyed the prerogative 

of petitioning for presents, which was carried to such 

excess that they were controlled by law in the time of 

GryfiPydd ap Cynan. This Prince, in 1100, invited to 

Wales some of the best musicians in Ireland. He was 

displeased with the disorders and abuses of the Welsh 



Bards, ai$i promulgated a body of institutes to amend 
their maimers and correct their art. 

A MS. transcribed in the time of Charles the First by 
Robert ap Hugh, of Bodwigan, in the Isle of Anglesey, 
from William Penllyn's book, is the Charter of Welsh 
Music. It contains the most ancient pieces of music of 
the Britons handed down from the ancient Bards. All 
the music is written for the crwth in an alphabetical 
notation. It gives an account of the Musical Congress 
and revolution of 1100. It dealt with several subjects : — 

Firstly : The four and twenty Measures or Canons of 
Instrumental Music. All were made conformable to the 
laws of harmony as they were settled in Congress by 
many professors, Welsh and Irish. The twenty-four 
Canons consisted of a given number of repetitions of the 
chords of the tonic and dominant, according to the length 
of each measure. 

Secondly : The five principal keys of Welsh music were 
established. The first was : — " Is-gywair " — the low key 
or key of C. The second, " Cras-gywair" — the sharp key 
or key of D. The third, " Lleddf-gywair " — ^the oblique 
flat key or key of F. The fourth, " Go-gywair " — where 
the third above the key note is flat. The fifth, " Bragod 
gywair " — mixed or minor key. 

Thirdly : The orders of the Bards and Musicians were 
separated, and each was placed on a statutory footing. 
Of the Musical Bards : — The first were performers on the 
harp ; the second were the performers on the six-stringed 
crwth ; and the third were the singers, i.e., singers to the 
harps of others. They were to be able to tune the harp 
and crwth, to play the thirteen principal tunes with all 
their flats and sharps, and to be able to restore a song 
corrupted by transcribers. 

Fourthly : The manner of holding an Eisteddfod, the 


granting of literary degrees, and the revision of rules 
for the composition and performance of music. The 
Eisteddfod was a rigid school. There were triennial 
examinations for Bards and Musicians ; and any disciple 
who at the expiration of his triennial term could not 
obtain a higher degree, was condemned to lose that which 
he already possessed. Four musical degrees were recog- 
nised — ^the last degree was Pencerdd Athraw or Doctor of 

The next authority on Welsh music is Giraldus Cam- 
brensis. Writing in 1187, he states with reference to the 
Welsh : " They do not sing in unison, like the inhabitants 
of other countries, but in many different parts. So that 
in a company of singers, which one frequently meets with 
in Wales, as many different parts and voices are heard as 
there are performers; who all at length unite, with 
organic melody, in one consonance and the soft sweetness 
of B flat." This, if accurate, proves that counterpoint 
was known to the Welsh at this time, and that Welsh 
music was in the modem key system. " Singing a song 
in four parts with accentuation " was one of the twenty- 
four ancient games of the Welsh, and is corroborative 
proof on this point. This reference to there being as 
many parts as there are singers, and the singing being 
not in unison, but in harmony, has led some writers to the 
conclusion that harmony was a British invention. The 
credit is generally given to Dunstable (1400-20), who by 
making each voice-part independent raised music to the 
rank of a structural art. Dr. Burney says that Giraldus 
Cambrensis is inaccurate, and his criticism is that counter- 
point, however artless, is too modem for such remote 

The earliest example of Welsh music is of the time of 
Charles the First, and is in the British Museum, and pur- 


ports to contain music settled in 1040. This MS. is 
doubtless copied from much earlier records, and contains 
pieces for the harp, or more probably for the crwth, in full 
harmony. There is no doubt that some of the songs, i.e., the 
words, are as old as 1040, and the prose contained in the 
MS. is to be found in Dr. Rhys' Welsh and Latin Grammar 
of 1592, but whether the tunes and notation are coeval 
with the words is a question for experts. 

Giraldus' statement, written in 1137, that " the Welsh 
are emulous to imitate the Irish in musical proficiency," 
has given rise to great controversy as to how far the 
Welsh borrowed or adopted their music from Ireland. 
There is no ground for such a suggestion, and in 1204 
the same author wrote: ^^The Welsh esteemed skill in 
playing on the harp beyond any kind of learning "; and 
" to be ignorant of music is as disgraceful as not to have 
learnt to read." How could this be said of a nation that 
had recently begun to study music ? 

The period between the years 1100 and 1282, the era 
preceding Llewelyn Ein Llyw Olaf, and the conquest of 
Wales, is the brightest in our annals. The remaining 
history of Welsh music is speedily told. Edward the 
First kept a stem eye on Welsh Bards and Musicians, as 
was but natural, for he rightly regarded them as hostile 
to his power, and the most powerful advocates of Welsh 

In Henry the Fourth's time there was a sudden burst 
of song to welcome Glyndwr's achievements, but with his 
failure the Muse too was extinguished. The Tudor suc- 
cession gave freedom to Welsh Bards and Musicians, but 
by the time of Elizabeth minstrels and rhymers had 
become intolerable and were put down by Act of Parlia- 
ment. The Statute classed the strolling singer with rogues 
and vagabonds and sturdy beggars, or as the popular 


couplet puts it : — 

** Beggars they are by one consent, 
And rogaes by Act of Parliament." 

Thus was the measure of their humiliation complete, 
and they fulfilled the fate of their Greek prototypes. Dr. 
Burney traces in four stages the decline of all of the 
musicians of Greece. At first they were gods; then they 
became heroes, subsequently they were called bards, and, 
lastly, they became beggars. When reading was little 
practised, when newspapers were unknown, the minstrel 
thrived. The introduction of printing and the spread of 
knowledge were fatal to the prestige of his past position. 
When men learnt their letters they forgot their -harp and 

Having now sketched the history of early Welsh Music, 
I now come to deal with : — 


The Instbuments and Notation op Wales. 

This part of my subject has been exhaustively dealt 
with by Edward Jones (Bardd y Brenin), in his great work on 
The Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards, and 
by Mr. John Thomas {Pencerdd Gwalia), in his learned 
contribution to the Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales, 

In ancient Welsh works *^ to play upon the harp " is 
expressed by the phrase " to sing upon the harp " (Canu 
ar y delyn). The same idiom is applied to the crwth. 
This Canu ar y delyn meant at first that the harp music 
was the melody and that it sang, the chords being played 
upon the crwth as an accompaniment. Later, when the 
penillion were recited in harmony, with the melody played 
on the harp, the human voice gave the words and the 
harp the melody. In this sense the harp sang, and the 
Welsh phrase, Canu ar y delyn, is justified. 


It is certain that folk-music preceded the folk-tale, and 
it is more than probable that instrumental singing, as 
£ have just explained, came before voice singing, or in the 
terse words of our own language: — Mae cerdd tant yn 
foreuach na cherdd tafod. 

This order of development ha« a most importent bearing 
upon the music of Wales. The Tri chof ynys Prydairiy 
which dealt with the chronicling of battles, the preser- 
vation of the language, and the history of genealogy, were 
at all times reduced to a form that should be suitable for 
singing. The crwth is referred to in the year 600 — 
Ghrotta Brittanica canat. Curiously enough, it was at one 
time used as a tenor accompaniment to the harp, so that 
the crwth supplied the instrumental music and the harp 
" sang " the melody. 

Edward Jones says that the musical instruments of the 
Welsh were six in number : — The harp, crythan (two 
kinds, one with three strings and the other with six), 
bagpipes, pibgom, bugle horn, and the tabret (or drum). 
Of these the harp and the crwth were the favourites. 

An attempt was made in 1100 by Gryflfydd ap Cynan 
to introduce the pipes from Ireland, but the attempt failed, 
and the native music refused to be displaced by the pro- 
posed importation. Nor is this to be wondered at; for 
why should a people that loved the harp waste any 
affection upon the pipes. The Bards ridiculed the pre- 
tensions of the alien pipes, though they came to Wales 
under Royal patronage. Davydd ap Gwilym said : — 

" Ni luniwyd ei pharwyden 
Nai chreglais ond i Sais tren." 

But the harp was lovingly reverenced, the language of the 
soul dwells on the strings — laith enaid ar ei thannau. So 
that when eight hundred years ago it was endeavoured to 
inculcate a taste in Wales for foreign music, public 


opinion triumphed over the wishes of those in authority, 
and the harp and crwth survived the attack. 

The improvement of the harp proves that the Welsh had 
in earliest times not only musical ability, but great techni- 
cal skill. The single-harp, with the difficulties of sharps 
and flats, was superseded by the double-harp, which in its 
turn was followed by the triple-harp, invented in the 
fourteenth century, and referred to by Davydd ab Edmwnt 
in a poem written in 1450. The two outside rows were 
tuned in unison according to the diatonic scale, and the 
inner row supplied the flats and sharps, so that the in- 
strument gave the complete chromatic scale. The strings 
are on the right side of the comb, and this is a peculiarity 
which makes the Welsh harp unique. A mechanical 
device, by means of pedals, to alter the key without the 
trouble of tuning, gives us the harp in its modem and 
best-known form. The crwth was second in the rank of 
Welsh musical instruments. In one form it has six 
strings, in another three. The last good player on the 
crwth, according to Edward Jones, was John Morgan, of 
Newborough, who lived more than a century ago. 

It is important to remember that harp-playing was not 
confined to a few as now. It was the accomplishment of 
the many. At entertainments the harp was passed round 
from guest to guest, and inability to play was a reproach 
and a proof of gross ignorance. Slaves alone were pro- 
hibited from learning. Ability to play on the harp was 
the indispensable qualification of a gentleman. A pro- 
fessor of the harp enjoyed many privileges, his lands were 
free, his person sacred. The book, the harp, and the 
sword were the three ornaments of a class, and all three 
were beyond the reach of legal process. The musician 
was recognised as an officer in the administrative system 
of the country and took a high place in the scheme of 


government. The Laws of Hywel Dda mentioned three 
kinds of harps — ^the harp of the king, the harp of the 
Pencerdd or Master of Music, and the harp of a nobleman 
— ^and it is significant to note that the Master of Music 
takes his place between the king and the nobleman, a 
recognition that there is an aristocracy of intellect as well 
as of birth and valour. 

The system of musical notation used in Wales is sup- 
posed to have been peculiar to the country. A manuscript 
discovered in the middle of the eighteenth century sets out 
this system. The characters are those of the ancient 
bardic alphabet, and as three or four letters are placed 
perpendicularly one above the other, it is clear that chords 
were played. Tn Guido's scale, and in the national music 
of Ireland, there is a peculiarity, viz., the absence of the 
leading note. In Wales each scale has its leading note, 
which constitutes a mark of musical superiority over the 
music of any other country. 

Edward Jones points out that there is a key peculiar to 
Wales and very effective. This is the fourth key of the 
five I have before mentioned as being in use in Wales, 
the go-gywair, and has the third above the keynote 
flattened. It is very quaint and Distyll y don is the best 

It is said that in Norway, and amongst the Hottentots, 
there is a .similar deviation from our modem intervals, 
and the gorali, the favourite instrument of the Hottentots, 
is so tuned that the third note above the keynote is 
slightly lower than the major third and slightly higher 
than the minor third. This is a coincidence which is 
somewhat remarkable. 

The peculiarity of each part ending in the fourth of the 
key is rare, but is to be seen in Dadl Dau, Dr. Crotch 
says it must be admitted that the regular measTire and 


diatonic scale of Welsh music make it more natural to 
experienced musicians than the music of Scotland and 
Ireland. It was composed chiefly for the harp, and in 
harp tunes there are often solo passages for the bass as 
well as for the treble. The folk-music of Wales was cer- 
tainly composed for the harp and crwth, and most of its 
characteristics are to be attributed to this circumstance. 
The harp with its plaintive, tranquilising, soothing tones 
is the congenial symbol of Welsh thought and emotion. 

** Nid oes nag angel na dyn 
Nad wyl pan gano delyn." 


I now come to deal with the characteristics of Welsh 

An eminent musician, who some years ago read a paper 
before this Society on "The Possibilities of Welsh Music," 
set himself to justify the title of his paper, and to prove 
that there was such a thing as Welsh music. In 
dealing with Folk-music, I am happily relieved from so 
perplexing a difficulty. It may be that Wales can produce 
no great composer, or world-known artist. It may be 
that Wales can prove no high musical culture. Her 
present may be barren and her future unpromising, but 
nothing can deprive Wales of her musical past. 

The Shakespearian age was the culminating period of 
English music. It has been truly said that a general 
history of music after 1700 might omit almost entirely 
the compositions of Englishmen ; and where Englishmen 
have had to import their musical products from Germany, 
it need be no serious reproach that Wales has failed where 
England has not succeeded. It is always dangerous to 
generalize, especially in dealing with nationalities. But 
the attitude of nations to music is an absorbing subject. 


It cannot be pretended that the English race, or the 
German people is musical. No one can deny but that the 
Welsh are eminently musical. Though the English (in 
Dunstable) discovered music as an art, and the Germans 
developed its form and structure, yet the Welsh can best 
express and enjoy it. The discovery, the development, 
and the enjoyment of music are the three gifts thus dis- 
tributed, and apart from intellectual pre-eminence, I think 
it will be admitted that the Welsh have been endowed 
with the best part. They understand the meaning and 
sway of music, they feel its effects, they know its message ; 
for after all " what should they know of music who only 
music know ?" 

But though the English as a race are less musically 
gifted than the Welsh, yet when the musical gift is found 
amongst the English, they cultivate it to a higher point 
than has yet been reached in Wales. Great compositions 
are the work of individuals, whereas Folk-music, though 
sprung from the brain of one, has been retained in the 
memory of many. Hence we find, as we should have 
expected, that England far excels Wales in musical works, 
just as Wales excels England in Folk-music. The reason 
is that the average Celt is above the average Saxon, and 
the greatest Saxon is above the greatest Celt. Amongst 
the Saxons it is the individual: among the Celt it is the 
standard that stands high. A high general average is not 
a fruitful ground for the production of genius, but it is 
most suitable for the preservation and improvement of 
that music which has to do with the every-day life of a 
people, and is part of their domestic, social, military and 
religious life. The growth of Folk-music depends upon a 
general high average of musical intelligence and culture, 
and nowhere were these conditions more favourable than 
in Wales. 


In all infant communities everything worth remembering 
was sung. In Wales, too, the records were composed and 
declaimed or sung to the accompaniment of music. This 
rhythm took the place of prose as a means of speech. 
This supplied an endless array of subjects for Bards and 
Musicians — ^the march into battle and the deeds of the 
soldier — ^the incidents of the chase — ^the pride of ancestry 
— ^the passion of love — ^the lament for the dead — the joy- 
ousness of the dance — ^the praises of conviviality — marriage 
songs, funeral songs, labour songs, harvest songs, nursery 
games and dreamy mystic legends — are all themes for 
Bards and Musicians. 

The very heart of a people is laid bare in its songs. 
The Folk-songs of Wales reflect the history and tempera- 
ment of the people. Their moods, sad and gay, lively and 
severe, will be found concentrated in song. Their popular 
traditions, their fears and despair, the varying changes of 
their lot, are pourtrayed by the Bard Minstrels. 

To investigate the origin of Welsh folk-songs is now an 
all but impossible task. To determine even the century 
in which they were composed is recognised as beyond the 
wit of the most expert musician. They were not composed 
in the ordinary sense of the word, they came like the 
fairies, only unlike the fairies they stayed. They grew, 
and their growth marks not a year or a decade, but an 
epoch of time. 

Clychau Aherdyfi (The Bells of Aberdovey) may have had 
fairy origin. The singing of the Tylwyth Teg is one of 
the most popular traditions in Wales. The fairies could 
not count beyond five, the number of fairy fingers. In 
this case the chwech (six) must have been added in later 
times. This is illustrated in the Myddfai and Little 
Van Lake legend, which is set out in Principal Rhys' 
Welsh Fairy Tales, There the Fairy's dower, on consent- 


ing to become the bride of a mere mortal, was to consist 
of as many sheep, cattle, goats, and horses, as she could 
count of each without heaving or drawing in her breath. 
She immediately adopted the mode of counting by Jive^. 
Thus, one, two, three, four, five — one, two, three, four, 
five, as many times as possible in rapid succession, till her 
breath was exhausted. The same process of reckoning 
had to determine the number of goats, cattle, and horses 
respectively, and in an instant the full number of each 
came up out of the lake, when called upon by the father 
of the fairy. I sing Clychau Äberdyfiy as a fairy song, and 
omit the number after five. 

The distinctiveness of Welsh music is not in structure 
but in meaning, not in form but in expression. The 
characteristic of Welsh folk-songs is their simplicity. 
This sums up the quality which distinguishes them from 
the folk-songs of other countries. They are peculiar in 
that they are natural. 

This characteristic is attributable to two causes. The 
character of the people and the peculiarity of the harp. 
Wales was a sparsely populated country ; centralised art 
was unknown. It was a country-bred people without 
access to town life. It was isolated, and its music was 
kept intact against alien influences. Then the harp was a 
perfect instrument. Its diatonic scale impressed itself 
on the music of the country. Hence dignity rather than 
piquancy, and simple results rather than strange effects. 
Thus the character of the people and the cadence of the 
harp made for sweetness, simplicity, and beauty. 

Heartiness, wit, and ruggedness, mark the old songs of 
England, Ireland, and Scotland, but Wales has a melodious 
rhythm denied to the sister nationalities. Welsh music 
is more harmonised, more naturally flowing. It strains 
after no effects, it makes no pretensions, it is neither 


artificial, nor conventional, nor crude, nor noisy, nor 
vulgar, but there is about it a sweet and delicate refine- 
ment, which is the more wonderful in that it grew in an 
isolated and mountainous country, far from the current of 
artistic thought and culture. 

Further than this, Welsh folk-songs have lost nothing 
by their purity and refinement. The tragic meaning of 
Morva Rhuddlan lives to this day. The melody is simple, 
there is no strange striving after the unexpected, there is 
no attention-calling dissonance — but the air sets out with 
a purpose and expresses in terse intense tones the terrible 
woe of a desperate people that had staked and lost their 
all. There is no hysterical affectation of grief, the calm- 
ness and dignity of despair breathe through the melody. 
And yet the air has a history of eleven centuries. 

In addition to this simplicity, we have also a sympathy, 
a mystery, and an earnestness, which stand out prominently 
as characteristics of the early music of Wales. The 
plaintive note is also a prominent feature. But it is more 
than probable that the minor key and the melancholy 
note have been superimposed on many Welsh songs during 
the last hundred years. Thus Mentra Gwen is invariably 
sung in Wales in the minor key, though it appears in 
every collection in the major key. John Parry (Bardd 
Alaw) stated that Welsh melodies can be set in either 
the major or the minor key, according as the base is 
altered. I do not think that our ancestors were sad and 
mournful, as they are sometimes supposed to have been. 
Though the untoward fate of their country accounts for 
the note of sadness, I believe the Welsh were a merry and 
a vivacious people. All this has changed now, and how far 
the religious revival in Wales had this effect it is difficult 
to determine. The Puritan fathers, though they admitted 
that "musicke was lawfull, usefull and commendable,** 


set their faces against many of the means^ or at leasts the 
associations of the means^ whereby Welsh music was kept 
alive in village fairs and hostelries. 

Prom what has been said it follows that Welsh folk- 
songs do not lend themselves to analysis. Their simplicity 
is such that they must be described negatively rather than 
positively. And it must be remembered, too, that true 
music^ like nature, does not initially or primarily make us 
think. It makes us feel. And while the feeling is main- 
tained the positive activity of the mind is suspended in 
pure emotion. It is only afterwards, when the emotion 
has gone, that the critical faculty is called in to give an 
account of how and why the emotion was caused. 

But this is a point at which there is little to be added 
beyond the ultimate fact that certain successions of sounds 
embodied in scales are pleasing. To proceed further would 
be to lengthen an argument without elucidating it. 

It may be permissible to say, in parenthesis, that though 
the folk-songs are simple, there is no reason why those 
who sing them should think they have the right to 
abandon the rules of correct time and good taste. It is 
unnecessary and inaccurate to violate these beautiful 
melodies with sham passion, which is out of all proportion 
to the sentiment contained in so many of them. The 
melody may not afPord the singer the opportunity desired 
of showing ofP to the best advantage the singer's best note, 
but the audience will not be content without that note 
being violently inserted or unduly prolonged. There are 
certain musicians, too, who think that to modernise is to . 
improve, and thus, with the best intentions in the world, 
they improve an old air out of existence and lose entirely 
the sturdy, straightforward character of the original 

Besides the airs which appear in the ordinary collections. 


I ought to refer to the most remarkable feature of Welsh 
music, I mean the penillion singing. This practice is 
found nowhere out of Wales, and dates back to the Druids, 
whose learning was embodied in the form of triads and 
penillion. The singing of epigrammatic stanzas to the 
accompaniment of an old Welsh melody (with well-marked 
time) depends not on the quality of voice, but upon a keen 
sense of rhythm and ability to enunciate, in fact speaking 
on a tune in harmony with the melody played upon the 
harp. There were two kinds of penillion singing. The 
simpler consisted in the singer extemporizing his words to 
the melody, and at the end of each line of the stanza there 
is a chorus as in Nos Oalan, 

The more difficult form was difficult indeed. The singer 
must not begin with the melody, but he must join in it at 
such á point that he may be able to end with it. He 
recites the lines on any note that may be in keeping 
with the fundamental harmony of the melody which 
accompanies. The best known example of these is Pen 
BhaWy which was composed, or at least obtained its present 
name, about the beginning of the fifteenth century. 


I wish to add a few words as to the place of folk- 
songs in the preservation of nationality. The language of 
Wales has preserved the nationality of Wales. It is true 
that people who have lost their language, except its brogue 
or its accent, have maintained their national identity, but 
language is the greatest and surest sign and proof of 
separate national existence. The Welsh language owes 
its vitality to poetry, music, and the religious revival. It 
would be impossible to apportion the result between the 
varying causes, but it is admitted by all that Welsh music 

is not only a symbol of Welsh nationality, but also a living 



factor in the maintenance and recognition of that nation- 
ality. It appeals not only to the understanding, but also to 
the ear and heart. 

The songs of a people are as important as its laws^ for 
laws may be, and often are, imposed upon the unwilling; 
songs cannot sunriye except by the glad assent of those 
amongst whom they grew and lived. The songs of a 
country therefore reflect the unmistakable bias of a country 
and the bent of its genius. And the songs of Wale» are 
the voice of the people as interpreted by the national 

Goethe said that " the special value of national songs and 
ballads is that their inspiration comes fresh from nature, 
they are never got up, they flow from a pure spring.^^ 

It is well that we should be taken back to this natural 
and pure spring, and renew our energies by the inspiration 
we can and ought to draw from such a source. Should 
patriotic efPort grow weak and uncertain, there is no better 
incentive than the graceful, melodious and pure music of 
our country.^ 

Ceiriog, than whom no one was more stirred by the 
inspiration of poetry or the breath of patriotism, refers to 
this in one of his beautiful poems. In spite of inevitable 
changes that take place from generation to generation, 
and though leaders of the people are lost, yet the old 
tongue and the ancient airs remain to preserve and main- 
tain the national life of Wales. 

We women may well be proud to remember that it was 
Lady Charlotte Guest who translated the Mabinogion and 
opened up a great literary treasure ; and that it was Miss 
Williams of Aberpergwm, by her careful collection and 
publication of the ancient national airs of Gwent and 
Morganny, who enriched the musical inheritance of the 
Welsh people. And for those of us who cannot hope 


to share in the great movements of the day, it is a conso- 
lation to know that if we may happily be permitted to 
spread a knowledge, and widen an appreciation, of the 
songs of Wales we shall have done some slight service to 
the land we love so well. 






It was during the third and fourth and fifth centuries 
that Christianity established itself in these islands, 
planting itself nowhere more firmly, and nowhere throw- 
ing out more vigorous roots than in Wales and Cornwall 
and Ireland. Already, in an age antecedent to St. 
Patrick's, we hear of many Scotti or Irishmen who were 
famous for their piety or learning in lands remote from 
their island home. Among such, Mr. F. E. Warren, the 
learned editor of the 8towe Missal^ mentions the names of 
Mansuetus, the first Bishop of Toul, in France, in the 
fourth century, Caelestius the Pelagian at the end 
of the third and the beginning of the fourth 
century, Eliphius and Eucharius, who were martyred 
in France in the fourth.^ In those ages the religion 
seems in no way to have owed its advancement in 
these islands to the arms and prestige of the Boman 
Government, nor could it be otherwise. For the fourth 
century was well advanced before Constantine, from motives 
of policy, cast in his lot with the Church ; and even after 
he had done so, he still remained in parts of the west, the 

^ Bead before the Honourable Society of Gymmrodorion at 
20, Hanover Square, on Wednesday, May lltb, 1898. Chairman 
Mr. Alfred Nutt. 

^ The Rev. F. E. Warren, p. 35 ; R. Brash, EccL Archit. oflrelandf 
p. 110; H. and S., ii, p. 291. 


open and avowed patron of the classic gods and goddesses. 
Moreover it required generations to pass away before the 
memory of the persecutions of the Roman Government 
could fade, and its power and authority be presented in 
the popular imagination as favourable to the Christian 
religion. These considerations explain how it is that 
Christianity took the firmest hold of parts of our islands 
where the Roman authority the least penetrated. 

Like the dew upon Gideon's fleece the grace of the new 
religion fell silently and refreshingly upon our land, and 
made a gentle conquest of the wild clans that held the 
inaccessible Highlands of Wales and the lofty Moorlands 
of Cornwall. The early Missionaries had to tell of a God 
who was single and supreme, unlike the petty Deities who 
were many, so many that, as you traversed the country, 
you passed rapidly from the province of one into that of 
another. He could not be confined in images of wood and 
stone, he could not be stolen by enemies, and therefore 
needed not bars and bolts to guard Him, He was merciful 
and forgiving, not liable to be bom or to die, and his rites 
were neither cruel nor obscene. Daniel, the Bishop of 
Winchester, a man in whom the spirit of the early British 
missionary was not quite extinct, though he lived as late 
as the eighth century, wrote in the year 724 a letter to 
Boniface of Maintz, full of common sense about the best 
way of overcoming the obstinacy of the country people of 
Thuringia, who still clung to the old Pagan Cults. 

^^ You should not, he says, flatly deny the genealogy of their gods, 
false though they be. Bather agree with them, and let them assert 
that any of their gods they like have been engendered by others in 
actual marriage relations. This is your best way of proving to 
them that their gods and goddesses, having been born after the 
manner of mere men, were rather men than gods; and that they 
had a beginning, as they did not exist previously. When, however, 
you have compelled them to learn that their gods had a beginning, 


as having been generated the one by the other, then you mast ask 
them whether they think that this world had a beginning, or 
whether it always existed without any beginning. If it had a 
beginning, then who created it ? for it is pretty clear that before 
the construction of the world they could hardly fìnd a place for gods 
so bom to subsist in and inhabit .... If they argue that the world 
has always existed and never had any beginning, you must be care- 
ful to refute and overthrow them on this point with many proofs and 
arguments. If they are still not satisfied, ask them who governed 
and ruled the world before their gods were bom ? Ask them also 
how their gods managed to subject to their own power and author- 
ity a world which for ever had existed before they were born ? Ask 
them whence, and by whom, and when the first god or goddess 
was constructed or engendered ? whether in their opinion the gods 
and goddesses are still busy engendering other gods and goddesses ? 
or if not, when and why did they give up having sexual relations with 
one another and bearing children ? If, however, they still continue 
to generate others, point out that by now the number of gods must 
have reached infinity, and that mortals can nevertheless not be sure 
among deities so many and so important which is the most power- 
ful ; so that extreme caution is necessary, lest you should offend the 
stronger one .... Ask what advantage the Pagans suppose they 
confer upon their gods by their sacrifices, when the latter already 
have every thing at their disposal ? '* 

I will not trouble you with all the arguments which the 
good Daniel desires Boniface to fire off against the Pagans. 
The value of the passage lies in the anxiety it reveals on 
the part of Daniel, that Boniface should devote himself a 
little more to convincing the intelligence of the Pagan 
Agrestes — and from the style of argument advocated by 
Daniel we gather that they had plenty of intelligence — 
and that he should trust rather less to the forcible methods 
of conversion on which he was too inclined to pride himself, 
such as the sacking and burning of the Pagan shrines, the 
triumphant hewing down, under the armed protection of 
Prankish soldiery, of their sacred oaks, the wholesale 
cutting of throats in the name of Christ, the baptism by 
force of the conquered residue of tribes so subdued. 
Therefore the good Daniel, having sketched out the 


dialectical methods to be pursued, adds the following 
exhortation to his too fiery co-religionist : — 

" These and many similar argaments, which I have no time now 
to enumerate, are those which yon shoald oppose to them ; not by 
way of insulting and irritating them, but quietly and with the 
greatest moderation. And every now and again you must point the 
contrast between such superstitious opinions as theirs and our own, 
that is to say, Christian dogmas ; and so touch them as it were on 
the flank, in such a way that they will blush with confusion rather 
than with exasperation, at the idea of their entertaining such 
absurd opinions, and because they realise that we know all about 
their harmful rites and fables." 

It was because the Celtic missionaries never leaned, like 
Boniface, on the secular arm, because they trusted to 
persuasion and not to force, to quiet rivalry in well-doing 
and not to violence, that the work they did, not only in 
these islands, but all over the continent, never had to be 
done over again, for they did not limit their horizon to 
men of their own blood and speech ; but, as St. Bernard^ 
said at a later day, their bands of missionaries and saints 
poured themselves like a flood over foreign lands ; and the 
old British writer Gildas^ says that the British priests, far 
from shrinking from travel, found their best pastime in 
sailing over the seas and in wandering over distant lands. 
And wherever they penetrated, since they made their 
appeal simply to the heart and intelligence of their 
converts, they founded, as the Irish saint Aileran (svo voce 
Aminadab) says, a spontaneus domini populvs, a willing and 
self-ofPering people of the Lord, sons of God and co-heirs 
with Christ, as he elsewhere expresses it. 

Those who desire a record of the work achieved by the 
early British church will find, in the pages of Mr. Warren 
and of others who have written about it, lists of the 
monasteries which they founded both in these islands and 

' Vita S. Malachi, ch. 6. ^ Haddan & Stubbs, ii, 1, 70. 


all over the continent. And these monasteries were not 
homes of mere monks, but centres of further missionary 
effort and of learning. As penmen and artists in 
particular the Celtic saints excelled, and up to the tenth 
century it was they that wrote the most exquisite prayer- 
books^ and were the best workers in leather, metal, and 
wood. No other people could chase copper and iron as 
they could, and for beauty of form and delicacy of inter- 
lacing pattern their stone crosses are unrivalled. 

Yet the charge was unceasingly and unflinchingly urged 
against the British church by the contemporary popes and 
doctors of Rome, that its teaching was heretical and its 
baptism and orders null and void. And its abbots and 
missionaries in return were not slow to challenge the 
growing claims of the Bishop of Home to supreme 
authority in the matter of rites and belief. Thus the 
history of the venerable Bede relates how in the year 597 
of our era Augustine of Canterbury was sent by the Pope 
to convert the Angles (so far as these really needed con- 
version), and equally to amend the errors which deformed 
the older Christianity of our islands. 

It is probable that the paganism of the Angles at this 
time has been somewhat exaggerated, for when Augustine 
reached their country he found at least two Christian 
churches within a few miles of his landing-place, wherein 
public worship had never ceased and was still being 
conducted. He also found the wife of King Ethelbert a 
fervent Christian, and her husband a ready catechumen, 
"We may fairly conclude that the religion had made con- 
siderable strides among the Angles before Augustine^s 
advent, and that he can only be called their apostle by a 
pious courtesy. However this may be, he lost no time in 
asserting the Soman authority, armed with which he had 
come, over the old believers of the land^ and, at the 


instance of Ethelbert, seven of the bishops, along with 
several doctors of the neighbouring province of the 
Brettones, arranged to meet and confer with the newly- 
arrived emissary of Rome at a spot afterwards known as 
Augustine's oak, probably Aust on the Severn, opposite 
Chepstow*^ The British clergy came from their monastery 
of Bangor in Flint, and, according to Bede, had already 
debated among themselves the point whether or no they 
should desert their own traditions and accept the preaching 
of Augustine. Dinoot, their abbot, had given them some 
shrewd advice in regard to the matter : " Follow 
Augustine," he said, " if you find him to be a man of 
God." " And how shall we test him on this point ? " they 
replied. " The Lord," answered Dinoot, " said to us, take 
my yoke upon you and learn of me, because I am gentle 
and meek of heart. If, then, this Augustine be gentle and 
meek of heart, it may be believed that he himself bears 
the yoke of Christ and offers it to you to bear. But if he 
be ungentle and proud, it is certain that he is not from 
God, nor must we then attend to what he says." But they 
asked in turn, " and how shall we be able to decide if 
this be so? " ^^Take care," answered their Abbot, "that 
Augustine with his retinue shall be the first to reach the 
place of conference. Then if he get up off his seat and 
rise to meet you when you approach him, you will know 
that he is a servant of Christ, and in that case you must 
respectfully give ear to what he says. If, on the contrary, 
he flouts you and refuses to rise from his seat to meet you, 
although you outnumber his party, then let him in turn 
be flouted by you." 

Then Bede narrates how they did as their Abbot 
advised, and it turned out that when they came iq) 

^ See Plummer's Bede, ii, 76. 


Augustine did not stir, but remained seated in his chair. 
Seeing which they were soon turned to anger, and being 
convinced of his pride, they tried to contradict all he said. 
And what he said to them was this : "^ You do certainly 
proceed in many ways contrarüy to our customs, or rather 
to those of the entire church. Still if you are willing to 
obey me on the three following points, namely : If you 
will keep Easter in its proper season ; if you will perform 
the rite of baptism, whereby we are re-bom unto God, 
according to the manner of the holy Boman and Apostolic 
Church ; lastly, if you will join with us in preaching the 
Word of G-od to the race of the Angli, then we will 
tolerate and overlook all your other practices, although 
they are contrary to our customs." 

Bede, who has left us this picture of the Synod at 
Augustine's oak, was a sincere adherent of the Papal party 
in these islands. Therefore we may rely upon its fidelity, 
as we could not do had it been drawn by an enemy. Yet 
Augustine, as pourtrayed in it, is not a very conciliatory 

And the impression formed in our minds from the 
beginning of Bede's narrative of this conference is 
deepened, if we read it to the end. " The other party," 
he says, *' replied to Augustine that they would not do any 
of these things, nor would they have him as their 
archbishop. And they conferred among themselves and 
said : Since he refused even to get up from his seat to 
meet us, how much more will he flout us if we once begin 
to give way to him?" "And then," continues Bede, 
" Augustine is said to have threatened them, and to have 
foretold that if they refused to accept peace as with 
brethren, they should have war as from enemies ; and if they 
refused to preach the way of life to the Angli, then by the 
hands of these same Angli they should suffer vengeance." 


Many historians, otherwise favourably disposed, have 
expressed their regret at the attitude thus taken up by 
Augustine towards the older Christianity of these islands 
so soon as he found himself confronted by it. It is 
hardly our ideal of peace with brethren. The Celtic races, 
moreover, whatever their faults, are at least gifted with a 
natural grace of courtesy, which in itself must have 
rendered Augustine's rudeness strange to them. But the 
British bishops must have been doubly shocked when this 
soi^imnt apostle passed from mere iU-breeding to threats 
of violence, as soon as ever they discovered their inability 
to bow down before him and admits his pretensions to 

It is characteristic of Bede that he is ever most reticent 
about the errors of the early British church. Its obser- 
vance of Easter is the only such point which he con- 


descends to notice in any detail. And this exception is 
intelligible, for the difference of date involved the great 
practical inconvenience that one party would be fasting 
and in sorrow, while the other would be making merry and 
feasting the risen Christ. Bede's reticence about his 
ecclesiastical opponents even goes to this length, that he 
studiously ignores throughout his history St. Patrick, the 
great Irish missionary, whose name he never once allows 
himself to utter. In the same spirit of reticence he never 
once deigns to inform his readers of what was wrong with 
the Celtic or British baptism. And it is the chief aim of 
this paper to try to ascertain what the defect in the early 
British baptism was, to which the older church was so 
resolved to cling. On this point Messrs. Haddan and 
Stubbs, in their Councils and Ecclesiastical Docv/ments re- 
lating to Great Britain and Ireland^ write as follows, vol, i, 
p. 153 : — ^' The precise defect intended is left to conjecture. 
Süigle immersion seems most probable." 


But Mr. Plummer, in his recent edition of Bede's History ^ 
vol. ii, p. 75, justly points out that this cannot have been 
the case ; because the very Pope Gregory who dispatched 
Augustine to Britain had no preference for trine over single 
immersion, supposing the latter was the custom of any 
given country. Nor is it likely to have been the omission 
at Baptism of chrism and confirmation, both of which the 
Irish church maintained, if the epistle of St. Patrick, ad 
Coroticumy 4f97 a.d., is to be held genuine. And even if it 
is not, we shall see from evidence to be presently adduced 
that this was not a cardinal defect which invalidated 
baptism in the eyes of the Popes in the eighth century^ 
and is, therefore, not likely to have invalidated it in the 
seventh. This much is certain, that from the Boman point 
of view the Britons had no baptism at all, and, therefore, 
no priesthood and no sacraments. For I cannot agree 
with Messrs. Haddan and Stubbs^ that except on this 
one occasion, by St. Augustine, no stress was laid upon 
any question respecting baptism in the British controversy. 
Surely it was enough for the first founder of Bede's 
Church in England to have once for all rejected the British 
baptism ? It lay at the root of the dispute, and the 
condemnation once solemnly pronounced by Augustine did 
not need to be constantly repeated. When, however, 
Egbert^ denies, with emphasis, that there was any baptism 
among the Angli until Augustine came to England, it is 
probable that he glances at the invalidity of the British 
rite. For it is inconceivable that the British saints 
refused to evangelise the Angles and to baptise them. 
They were the most enthusiastic missionaries that 
the world has ever seen, and they risked all perils of land 
and sea, in order to evangelise the same race in its old 

^ Vol. i, p. 154, 2 Archbishop olYork, 732-767 a.d. 


home across the North Sea. I shall presently point out 
that Bede's allegation that the Britons would not joiii 
with him in preaching the word ainong the Angli must 
either be dismissed as incredible or subjected to a very 
different interpretation. However, even if ẅé put aside 
the words of Egbert, what shall we say of the fact that 
St. Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, a.d. 670, in his 
Pm/itentiary (ii, 9), expressly orders Scótti and Brettones 
to be rebaptised ? " Not only," so he writes, '^ shall those 
Priests who have been ordained by the Bishops of the 
Scotti (that is the Irish) and of the Brettones have hands 
laid on them afresh by a Catholic Bishop, not oiily shall 
the churches consecrated by their Bishops be reconsecrated, 
but to the members of these Irish and British churches, 
the Chrism and Eucharist shall be refused, even though 
they ask for it, unless they have beforehand coiifessed 
their willingness to join us. iii the unity of the Church." 
" And likewise," adds this writer in conclusion, '^ those who 
belong to this race, or anyone who has felt a doubt about 
his baptism, shall be baptised." The intention of this 
last proviso is clear. Members of the Irish and British 
churches were anyhow to be re-baptised, if they were 
known to have been dipped by a British or Irish Bishop. 
And more than this, if a man even had a doubt about the 
catholicity of the Priest who had baptised him, he was to 
undergo the rite afresh. Now it is a commonplace of 
Church History, that the Popes from the first recognised 
as valid the baptism of heretics, so long as they were 
correct in the form and matter of their baptism. It was 
therefore a very extreme measure for Theodore, the suc- 
cessor of Augustjne in the see of Canterbury, to ignore the 
British baptism. It was tantamount to a denial on his 
part that the British and Irish were Christians at all. 
Let us then examine and find out what was considered 


bj the Popes of the serenth and eighth centuries to be 
the essential thing and wine qua non in baptism. And 
haying found out what it was^ let us further examine 
contemporary writers and see whether they do not make 
it plain that it was the want of this very thing in British 
baptism that rendered it invalid. 

Now the Papacy was met by just the same difficulties in 
Northern Europe during the eighth century, as in England 
during the seventh. It was not so much that it had to 
cope with a vigorous paganism, for the older cults were in 
that age nearly everywhere extinct or fast waning, save 
perhaps in the recesses of the land of the Prisii. The real 
problem was how to reduce to conformity with Bome the 
Christianity which before that age Irish and British mis- 
sionaries had planted, and were still watering, in Lower 
Frisia, in Old Saxony, in Thurlngia, among the Bavarians 
and the Pranks. These missionaries, by their patient 
efforts, had done all the rough work of evangelisation, but 
they were not in communion vdth Bome. How was Bome 
to gra«p their heritage ? 

Now Winifred, or Boniface, as he was afterwards called, 
was from about the year 715 till the year 764 engaged in 
executing for the Popes, in the countries just named, the 
same task which Augustine had been sent a century earlier 
to these islands to achieve, the task, namely, of effacing 
the last traces of a decaying paganism and of reforming, 
as the Pope euphemistically put it, the religion implanted 
by the Celtic missionaries. In the correspondence of 
Boniface then, as we might expect, the question of what 
is valid baptism is often touched upon and proposed to 
successive Popes for settlement. It is as often declared by 
them, when so interrogated, that the sine qua nan of 
baptism is the invocation of the Trinity in all its three 
persons. Nothing else is essential^ but the omission of 


this invocatioii, the neglect to mention all three persons of 
the Trinity, utterly invalidates the rite. 

Boniface was a native of Crediton, in Deyonihìi^ and 
received his training at £xeter aimong papal Christians 
before he passed across the North Sea to his great life 
work on the continent, whither he must have carried 
scruples, susceptibilities, and prejudices formed and 
acquired in the west of England. Now it is remarkable 
how morbidly anxious he is about the very aspect of sound 
baptism on which I have just touched. Thus, in 744, 
when he had become papal legate for the whole of Ger- 
many, he writes to the Pope Zachariah to know how he 
should proceed in regard to a certain Bavarian priest who, 
through ignorance of the Latin language, had in baptising 
sundry persons used the formula, ^' Baptize te in nomine 
patria et filia et spiritu sancta." In his zeal for sound 
baptism, Boniface, instead of waiting for the Pope's de- 
cision, took the extreme step of rebaptising the persons 
over whom this formula had been used. The Pope 
answers^ that herein he was wrong, for that the baptising 
priest had but unintentionally mangled the Latin language, 
and had introduced no error or heresy. 

The next Pope, Stephen,* returns a similar answer in 
the year 754 to certain of the inmates of a British Uniat 
monastery at Carisiacum on the Isar. They had propounded 
the question, whether the baptisms of a presbyter were 
valid, who was not sure that the bishop who had ordained 
or blessed him was orthodox, that is to say Papal and 
not Celtic. The Pope replied that the baptism was valid, 
if duly conferred in the name of the Trinity, and added 
that even a layman's baptism so conferred in cases of 

^ See Migne, P. L., torn. 89, col. 929 G. 

"" S. Stepbani Papae II, £p. 18 in Migne, P. L,., 89, cols. 1026, 


necessity was good. In reply to the further question, if à 
baptism, in which wine instead of water was used, was 
also valid, the same Pope answers, yes, if the Trinity was 
invoked. Another decision of the same Pope bears still 
more upon the problem we are examining of what con- 
stituted the invalidity of the Celtic baptism. For the case 
is laid before him of á presbyter who not only in baptising 
had neglected to use the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the 
Psalms, but also could not adduce evidence to prove that 
the Bishop who had consecrated him was orthodox. '^ Let 
this presbyter, answers Pope Stephen, be deprived and 
incarcerated in a monastery. But let his baptisms be held 
good, provided always the persons were baptised in the 
name of the Trinity." And a crucial decision of the same 
sort is contained in a letter of the Pope Gregory * the 
Second, written to Boniface in a.d. 726, in answer to vari- 
ous queries : — " You have informed me/' writes this Pope, 
" that certain persons have been baptized by adulterous 
and unworthy priests without their having been interro- 
gated about the symbol or creed. In such cases you shall 
adhere to the ancient custom of the church, which is that 
one who has been baptised in the name of the Father, and 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost, must on no account be re- 
baptised, for the gift of grace is not received in the name 
of the baptiser, but in the name of the Trinity." 

The term adulterous, here used of the priest who neg- 
lected to use the orthodox creed, of course means no more 
than heretical; and in that age it was a comparatively 
mud and gentle epithet to apply to one who rejected the 
authority of the Pope. 

It in no way detracts from the utility for my argument 
of these instances, which might be multiplied, that Boni- 

^ S. Gregorii Papae U, Ep. xiv, in Migne, P. L„ 89, col. 524. 


face was working in Germany, whereas the Celtic Church 
with which we are concerned was in these islands. For 
the latter part of this objection is not true. The Celtic 
Church ramified all over the Continent, and Boniface's 
letters prove that its bishops and missionaries, with their 
imperfect teaching, confronted him wherever he turned. 
'^The reformation of the Christian religion" was the 
Pope's own description^ of Boniface's task, and it meant 
the capturing for Rome of the converts that the Celts had 
everywhere made, and the forcing upon them of doctrines 
more up to date than those of the earlier missionaries. 
Witness Boniface's own description of these Celtic mis- 
sionaries in his letter 12 addressed to Daniel, Bishop of 
Winchester : — 

*^ They are false priests and hypocrites, who are fighting against 
God and are lost to themselves, and seduce the people by their 
many stumbling blocks and divers errors, saying to the people, in 
the words of the prophet, peace, peace, and there is not peace. 
And the seed of the word which has been derived from the bosom 
of the church catholic and apostolic, and has been intrusted to us, 
and which we are eager to sow however little, they strive to 
oversow with their weeds and to suffocate or turn into grass of a 
pestiferous sort. And what we plant they will not water, that it 
may increase : but are eager to pluck it out and cause it to wither 
away, offering instead of it to the people, and teaching to them, 
new sects and errors of various kind."^ 

It is apparent from this letter that the Celtic clergy 
only wished for peace in their flocks, and that the arrog- 
ance of the Pope's legate alone disturbed it. It is also 
clear that his dogmatic narrowness was not acceptable to 
the people, and this was doubly bitter to Boniface. A 
letter of Pope Zachariah to him survives, in which the 
latter point is more explicitly brought out. 

^ Hincmarus in Ep. Sen. Opusc. 44, cap. 20, in Migne, P. L., 89, 
col. 691 D. » In Migne, P. L., 89, col. 700. 



Boniface recalls, in the same letter of the year 723, how 
when he was consecrated at Borne by the Pope, he had 
sworn on the body of St. Peter not to hold any communion 
or even personal intercourse with the uncanonical Celtic 
clergy/ In another letter, No. 27, written a.d. 733, 
Boniface* calls them pagans and false Christians, forni- 
cating clergy and pseudo-sacerdotes, unless indeed he here 
has in mind the so-called Manichean teachers, who do not 
seem to have been numerous. In yet another letter to the 
Pope Zachariah, a.d. 744, Boniface complains of the in- 
juries and persecutions suffered by him at the hands of 
the false priests, adulterated deacons and fornicating 
clergy, among whom he particularly names two, Alde- 
bert, a Gaul, and Clemens, a Scottus or Irishman.* 
In connection with the latter he prays the Pope to make 
an end of the fables of the heretics, of their empty pro- 
digies, of their miracles of the forerunner of Antichrist. 
. In the Council of Soissons, a.d. 744, Boniface, according 
to his biographer Willibald, excommunicated and handed 
over to Satan these two bishops, with the assistance of 
the most Christian princes of the Franks, Caroloman, and 
Pippin. It is to be noticed that in this council the decrees 
of the Eastern Councils were for the first time promulgated 
in the kingdom of the Pranks. 

The language of the Eomanising clergy, in these islands, 
like their cause, was in the meanwhile identical with. 

^ So also in Ep. 75 to Zachariah, a.d. 751, in Migne, P. L., vol. 
Ixxxix, col. 777 B. & 0. 

^ Migne, P. L.y Ixxxix, 724 A. 

* Ihid.i 752 A. Aldebert's teaching is distinguished from that of 
Clemens, and he appears to have been what Gregory II elsewhere 
calls a Manichean {Ibid., 502 C), bat really akin to the Montanists 
or Paulicians of the East. See Migne, P. L., Ixxxix, cols. 927, 
A.B., 752, 939. 


Boniface's. Daniel of Winchester, to console him for his 
diflSculties with the Celtic missionaries of the Continent, 
writes to him as follows (Migne, P.L., Ixxxix, 707 B.) : — 

" Of this also I would remind you, my dear friend, that although 
we are parted by a wide tract of land, and an immense breadth of 
sea, and though oar climates differ widely, yet we are oppressed by 
just the same mass of troubles as yourself. There is exactly the 
same activity of Satan here as yonder.'* 

And Gregory the First, in giving to Augustine of Can- 
terbury his commission, indicates that the Celtic Church 
had no form of right belief or right living.^ And in the 
same year, a.d. 601, he hints plainly to Augustine that 
Celtic orders were in the opinion of Eome non-existent : 
" you are the only Bishop in Britain," he writes ;^ and in 
virtue of his heing so Augustine was allowed to consecrate 
without the assistance of other bishops. Yet Celtic bishops 
were ever within call, had the Roman party recognised 
their orders. 

St. Aldhelm also, Bishop of Sherburne, in a.d. 705, 
according to Bede {Hist.y v, 18), wrote a marvellous book 
against the errors of the Britons, "according to which 
they celebrate the Pascha at the wrong time and carry on 
many other practices contrary to ecclesiastical purity (i.e., 
orthodoxy) and peace." Aldhelm acknowledged the purity 
and strictness of the Celtic coenobial system, but asked 
what use it was outside the Catholic Church. *'Tour 
priests," he wrote to Geruntius of Cornwall, " do not in 
the least agree with us in the rule of the catholic faith 
(that is in creed), and by their feuds and verbal combats 
with us give rise within the Church of Christ (that is 
within the Romanising party itself) to grave schism and 

^ Bede, HÌBt,^ i, 29: Recte credendi et bene vivendi formam. 
^* Such a form, says Gregory to Augustine, they shall imbibe from 
the language and life of your Holiness.*' 

^ Bede, Htst, i, 29. 




cruel scandal.'" A little earlier we read that Pope Vitalian, 
in A.D. 667, proclaimed his intention of selecting an Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, " who should root out by the will of 
God all the enemy's tares." 

Lastly, Pope Gregory the Third, a.d. 739, particularly 
warns the Bavarian and Alemannic bishops against the 
British missionaries, meaning probably, as Haddan & 
Stubbs point out, Welsh or Comishmen. " You are," he 
writes, " to obey Boniface and reject and prohibit gentile 
rites, and the teaching whether of Brettones when they 
come, or of false priests and of heretics from whatsoever 

It is useless to contend, as have done many writers over 
zealous for the good name of the Celtic Church, that the 
denunciations of the writers whom we have just quoted 
were inspired by the racial hatred which an Angle felt 
instinctively for a race which he had wronged. This may 
p^haps excuse the fierce exultation of Bede, when he 
relates the treacherous murder of four hundred British 
monks surprised at their prayers. But it does not explain 
the attitude of the Popes, who in all their dealings and 
policy were never motived by racial prejudices. Still less 
does it explain the rancour with which the Celtic mis- 
sionaries were pursued all over the Continent, in wide and 
remote regions whither the petty antagonisms of these 
islands cannot possibly have found an echo. And if it be 
further contended that the papal feeling against them was 
due to the fact that they resisted and denied the authority 
of the Pope, it may surely be replied that they can only 
have resisted the Popes, because they rejected the doctrines 
which he wished to force upon them. Even if we had no 
further evidence on the point, the passages above adduced 

^ Migne, P. L., Ixxxix, col. 88 : in Catholicae fidei regula secun- 
dum scripturae praeceptum mini me concordant. H* é S.^ i, 672. 


from the correspondence of the Popes with Boniface would 
make it almost certain that the real defect in British 
baptism was the absence of any invocation of the Trinity. 
For that is the point on which Boniface manifests so ex- 
treme, so morbid, an anxiety. Now by good fortune a 
letter of the Pope Zachariah to Boniface survives, which 
in the amplest manner confirms this view. It belongs to 
the year 748,^ and is an answer to a letter of Boniface's, 
which had referred to tlie same matter. "Your first 
point," writes Zachariah, " regards the Synod of the 
province in which you were bom and bred, which as far 
as regards the Angles and Saxons was decided and judged 
and governed by the first preachers sent from the apostolic 
seat, to wit by Augustine, Laurentius, Justus, Honorius, 
and recently in your own times by Theodore." 

The date of the Synod here referred to is fixed by the 
context of the letter, which refers it to the times of the 
Pope Gregory the first. Therefore Haddan and Stubbs 
(vol. iii, p. 51) place it in the period 591-603. The 
province in which Boniface was born and brought up may 
only mean Great Britain, but more probably refers to the 
kingdom of Wessex, since Boniface was bom at Crediton 
and educated at Exeter. There is thus a strong antecedent 
probability that the synod in question was the very one at 
Augustine's Oak, on which we have already dwelt. 

Now Zachariah goes on to tell us something about the 
decrees passed in this synod, as follows : — 

*^ In that synod the following decree and decision was most firmly 
laid down, and it is recognised to ba^e been demonstrated, that 
whoever shall have been washed (lotua)^ without the invocation of 

^ Baronius gives this date. For the letter see Migne, P. I/., 
Ixxxix, col. 943. 

^ Notice how careful Zachariah is to use the word ** washed " or 
^* dipt," not ■* baptised," of the imperfect British rite. 


the Trinity, shall not he held to have received the sacrament of 
regeneration. And this is everywhere true, that if anyone has heen 
dipt in the font of haptisra without invocation of the Trinity, such 
an one is not perfect. To he that, he must have heen haptised in 
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 

Now in the seventh century synods were not got together 
in order to condemn imaginary errors, and this decree 
must have been aimed at a practise which really existed in 
these islands, especially in the western parts of England, 
where in the year 600 the Celtic Church was as yet the 
only form of Christian organisation and the sole evangelis- 
ing agency. It is clear to demonstration that the Celtic 
bishops and doctors baptised without using the formula, 
" In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost." And the first thing Augustine did, when 
he reached our shores, was to make it clear to them that 
he could not act with them nor they with him, unless they 
conformed on this point. 

In the immediate sequel the Pope repeats from 
Boniface's letter to himself the declarations with regard 
to the use of the invocation of the Trinity in baptism 
made by certain persons whom he does not name, but who 
in the main agreed with the decisions of the English 
synod just alluded to. The passage is as follows : — 

*' You have told me in your letter that it is affirmed by certain 
persons, that the sacrament of haptism is, beyond douht, actually 
conferred on anyone who has been dipt in the Name of the Father, 
and of tho Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the Trinity having been 
invoked according to the Evangelical words in accordance with the 
rule laid down by the Lord. They affirm that in such case the 
baptism is so fìrmly consecrated by the Evangelical words {i.e., 
Matt, xxviii, 19) that, even though it be a most wicked heretic, or 
schismatic, or robber, or thief, or adulterer that has so conferred it 
on a person who besought it of him, nevertheless the baptism so 
consecrated by the evangelical words is the baptism of Ohrisb. On 
the other hand, these same persons affirm that even though the 
minister be a just man, yet if he has not pronounced the Trinity in 



the Font according to the mle laid down by the Lolrd, then that is 
not true baptism which he has bestowed. ' Well,* says the Pope, 
after thus summarising what Boniface had written to him, ' with 
regard to these filthy and unreliable heretics and schismatics, who 
baptise in the name of the Trinity ; and, further, with regard to 
the others, who without invocation of the Trinity dip in the font 
of baptism, you are well aware, my brother, what the series of 
canons has in it about them. We exhort you to hold firmly to those 

canonical decisions Abide also by the decision which 

you received from our predecessor in this apostolical see, Gregory." 

The concluding sentence of the above refers to the letter 
No. xiv, of Pope Gregory the Second, which we have 
already quoted. Boniface, it is clear, wished to follow the 
example of Theodore of Canterbury, and to disallow the 
baptisms of heretics and schismatics, even though they 
used the Trinitarian formula. The certain persons whose 
aflB.rmations in a contrary sense he had reproduced in his 
letter to Zachariah, were more moderate persons in his 
diocese who desired to follow the general rule of the 
Church, which was to recognise such baptisms. Zachariah, 
like Gregory the Second, casts his vote on their side. But 
it was evidently too liberal a decision to please Boniface, 
who was daily encountering these heretics in the flesh. 
He wished to recognise as valid none of their acts, not 
even baptism conferred in the Name of the Trinity. The 
just ministers who neglected to use the Trinitarian formula 
were the Celtic clergy spread over Germany. The thieves, 
and robbers, and adulterers, who invoked the Trinity in 
baptism, were probably the Manicheans, of whose existence 
among the Thuringi we learn from the fourth letter of 
Gregory the Second (Migne, P. L., Ixxxix, 502 C). These 
so-called Manicheans seem to have been Christians of a 
more primitive type than the Celts, and very numerous in the 
neighbourhood of Cologne, in which region they had a 
bishop named Aldebert, who was the object of Boniface's 
special detestation. So far as one can judge from the 


sparse mention of them in the epistles of Boniface and the 
Popes of the time, they had much in common with the 
PauKcianSj who in that age were beginning to assert 
themselves in the east. In a later age they may have 
coalesced with the remnant of the Celtic Church to form 
that strong leaven of Catharism, which in the twelfth 
century was to be found in Cologne, in Bonne, and indeed 
everywhere along the Rhine. From the tenth epistle of 
Zachariah it is certain that these Manicheans baptised 
children and consecrated churches in the name of the 
Trinity. They formed in the eighth century, however, a 
sect apart from the converts of the Celtic missionaries, 
and the discussion of their tenets would require a separate 

In the passage which follows in Zachariah's interesting 
letter, the nature of the defects which invalidated the 
British baptism becomes increasingly clear, for he proceeds 
to give examples of the imperfect baptismal formulae which 
the English synod had condemned, and of which the 
actual use among the British clergy cannot be doubted, 
since neither in those days, nor in later ones, did ecclesias- 
tical synods load their guns with so much care, in order to 
fire them off at nothing. This is how Zachariah 
continues : — 

*' This point also in the aforesaid synod the priests attended to, 
namely that if anyone in baptising neglected to name even a single 
person of the Trinity, his baptism so conferred could not be true 
baptism. Because it is most certainly the case, that he who has 
neglected to confess one (of the Persons) of the Holy Trinity, can- 
not be a perfect Christian. For one who confesses Father and Son, 
if he has not also confessed the Holy Spirit, has neither Father nor 
Son. Also one who shall have confessed Father and Holy Spirit, 
but has not confessed the Son, he has neither Father nor Holy 
Spirit, but is empty of the Divine Grace." 

It is evident from such a passage that the Celtic 
priests omitted sometimes one, sometimes two Persons of 


the Trinity in their baptismal invocations. The Father it 
appears was always mentioned, and sometimes stood alone. 
Besides him was added, if another Person was added at 
all, sometimes the Son, sometimes the Holy Spirit ; but 
never the Son and Holy Spirit both together. Such was 
the defect in the British baptism which rendered union 
with Bome impossible. 

The question therefore becomes one of great interest 
and importance, whether among the genuine remains of 
the Celtic Church we can find traces of the use of such 
imperfect baptismal formulae. It is, of course, hopeless to 
look in documents; for all the literary remains of this 
Church have come down to us through the hands of 
orthodox Catholics, who freely revised everything away 
that they felt to be in the least discordant with the beliefs 
of their own age. Even the earliest of the Celtic service 
books, the Stowe Missal^ is seen, when we examine it, to be 
merelv a book written for the XJniat Celts, who had made 
their submission to Canterbury. Accordingly we find in 
it prayers for Anglican saints, and the Nicene Creed is put 
in a prominent place in the Baptismal Service, evidently 
as a manifesto, since in other copies of the rite it is absent. 
Such was this Stowe Missal in its first form, as its ninth 
century scribe originally wrote it. But even in that form 
it evidently contained much that very soon became dis- 
tasteful to the orthodox mind. For, as the Editor of it, 
Mr. Warren, points out, nearly the half of tlie original 
writing has been effaced and re-written in two later hands ; 
and often you will find that all three hands have been at 
work on the same page. Mr. Warren points out that in 
all the most ancient Celtic books that he has seen these 
erasures in large patches of the original writing, to give 
place to newer hands, is common. No fact could shew 
more clearly that there was much in the prayers and 


rubrics of the Celtic Church which a later, and I suppose 
a more orthodox, age was under the necessity of forgetting 
and concealing. 

It is useless then to search in manuscripts for what we 
want. But there is another class of record which cannot 
so easily be falsified, namely, lapidary inscriptions. It is 
Professor Rhys who lately drew my attention to a whole 
series of monuments which seem to confirm to the letter 
the statements of the Pope Zachariah and the deductions 
I have drawn from them. We saw that the British priests 
and doctors who met Augustine and refused point-blank 
to give up their peculiar form of baptism, whatever it was, 
came from the monastery of Bangor in Flintshire and its 
neighbourhood. It was also in Wales that the Celtic 
Church held out longest against the encroachments of 
Canterbury. Hence we naturally look first to Wales for 
some traces of the lost past which we seek, and we are not 

At Vaenor in Brecknockshire there was a stone cross, 
now destroyed, bearing the legend ^* i nomine di sumi, 
TiLus," " in the Name of the Most High God, Tilus." It 
is fairly certain from the analogy of Christian Gippiy as 
they are found all over the world, that the formula " in 
nomine dei summi," on this stone represents the formula 
used at the baptism of Tilus, when through the regenera- 
tion of the holy font he was reborn a son of God and entered 
the kingdom of heaven. This stone is, by the experts, 
who have seen it or a picture of it, dated anytime from the 
year 450 to 700. 

The same inscription is found on the stone pedestal of 
a cross at Llantwit (Hiibner, Inscrip, Britannice, No. 62) : 



King of Gwent, died 848 a.d., to which epoch this inscrip- 
tion may belong. 

At Margam, in Glamorgan (Hübner, No. 74), on a 
cross of the eighth or ninth century is this legend : " in 


(=prefaravit) grutne pro anima ahest." 

At the Margam Chapterhouse, in the same county, is 
an old cross with the legend : " ilci fecit hanc crucem. 


Now the words of the Synodal decree as quoted 
by Zachariah : " Qui vel unam . . . personam . . . non 
nominavit," imply that the two minor persons of the 
Trinity were habitually omitted. This is just what we 
find in these four inscriptions. 

Zachariah further cites the decree to the efPect that in 
other forms of baptismal invocation the British clergy 
omitted the name sometimes of the Son, sometimes of the 
Spirit. Accordingly, at Llantwit Major we find a cross 
with this legend : " in nomine dei patris et spiritus 


Here Professor Rhys thinks he can make out before the 
word spiritus an F with a mark above it representing filii. 
In any case this cross must represent the invocation 
formulae which only mentioned the Father and the Holy 
Spirit. If filii stood, that only shews that the persons 
who erected the cross had not yet learned to distinguish 
the Son from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit from 
the Son. 

To the same stage of dogmatic evolution unquestionably 
belongs the next inscription, which is found at Merthyr- 
Mawr on a cross, the date of which Prof. Rhys puts as 
early as the year 750, and Professor Westwood between 
600 and 860, but anyhow later than the one at Llantwit 


Major. The legend on it is this : " in nomine dei patbis 



Here 8ancti was read by Professor Westwood, but 
Professor Bhys finds it barely legible to-day. The inter- 
vening words represented by dot» are also illegible, and it 
is not clear that it is a memorial stone of one dead, though it 
well may be. The word Grephivmi suggests a deed of gift 
to hold good until the day of judgment. A.t least the 
word occurs in this sense in the Latin Acts of the old 
Welsh Saint Caradoc. 

In all the old Welsh inscriptions of this class, as 
Professor Rhys has observed, the Trinitarian formula : 
" In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost," is not found at all ; and this negative fact, 
taken along with the formulae that do remain, is most 

It is probable that both of the two classes of inscription 
which we find on these Welsh stones represent a very early 
phase of Christian opinion, which in baptismal formulae 
may easily have survived as late as the ninth century 
among so conservative a people as the Welsh ; retained 
even long after their acceptance of the more developed 
Ghristology with which the conceptions that originally 
underlay these formulae were irreconcileable. Motived by 
mere conservatism the Welshmen who set up these crosses 
had probably forgotten what the formulae inscribed really 
imported. For Zachariah, the Pope, himself seems not 
to understand the meaning of the formidae which the 
British Synod had condensed. For the formula " In 
nomine dei summi," is in a Christian inscription not so 
innocent as it looks. It is distinctly Jewish and Mono- 
theistic, and in certain environments exclusive of the belief 
in the Divinity of Christ as held by orthodox Catholics. 


I do not imply that in the fifth and immediately following 
centuries the Welsh Church was without this belief. That 
would be ridiculous, but I do think it more than probable 
that those who first carried the religion into these remote 
regions represented a long-lost and soon superseded stage 
of Christological opinion, a stage in which the orthodox 
conceptions finally elaborated in the fourth century were 
still in the making, but not yet made ; or, if already made 
in the great workshops of Christian thought, Alexandria, 
Antioch and Rome, not yet accepted in the outlying parts 
of the Roman Empire, still less beyond its pale. Earlier 
formulae, which in the later stages of theological definition 
became heretical were, I repeat, carried to these islands by 
the first missionaries, and, stereotyped by a traditional 
reverence, they lingered on, at a time when, in other 
services, the more elaborate f ormulse of a later date had 
authoritatively asserted themselves. 

The formula " In nomine dei summi " answers to the 
Greek iv ovofiaTi ©eoO uỳí^^tou ; in the New Testament we 
often meet with the title öeòç vYt^'Toc used of tìod the 
Father. Thus in 8t. Mark, v, 7, the Demoniac addresses 
Jesus as '' Thou Son of the Most High God." In 8t. 
Luke, i, 32, Jesus Christ is " Son of the Most High," the 
word God not being added. In 8t. Luke, i, 35, he is " The 
Power of the Most High." In 8t. Luke, vi, 35, Jesus 
promises to those of His hearers who shall love their 
enemies that they shall become like Himself *^ Sons of the 
Most High." In Acts, xvi, 17, the girl with a spirit of 
divination acclaims Paul and his companions as "the 
servants of the Most High God." Lastly in Hebrews, vii, i, 
Melchizedek is called "Priest of God Most High." 

And quitting the New Testament we find the title 
applied by converted Pagans to the God of the Jews. And 
there is a long series of inscriptions discovered all over 



Asia 'Minor and also in the Bosphorus and Crimea, which 
reveal the existence of regular Thvasoi or clubs formed 
under the influence of Jewish missionaries for the worship 
of the one God. These worshippers were known as 
Hup8Ì8tari% or as the Sebomenoi Theon HupsutoUy "Wor- 
shippers of God Most High." Here is a typical inscription 
of one of these clubs : " to the most high ood, ailios 


PRATER," Here the word "brethren" has a religious 
sense, as in the epistles of Paul, and probably indicates 
that the inscription is an early Christian one. So also 
must the following one from Phrygia : " to the most high 


PROFESSED IN ROME." The prayer in question must be 
the Lord's Prayer, which in the earliest Church only the 
baptised could use, since until you were reborn, you were 
not a son of God and could not address Him as the 
Father. As late as the twelfth century in the Armenian 
Church the catechumen was forbidden to use this prayer, 
and among the Albigeois the ceremonial bestowal of 
it on the neophyte was the first step in the initiation 
into the mysteries of the Church. 

The isolated prominence given in these Welsh stones to 
the devs sv/m/mns is redolent of the second century, when 
the apologists of Christianity were in the habit of present- 
ing their religion to the polytheists as a purely monotheistic 
cult, because as such it stood in the strongest contrast to 
the many gods of Paganism. It is not strange if among 
the Celts the inyocation in the initiatory rite of baptism of 
the Highest God should have been deemed all-sufficient. 
That rite protected the convert from the demons who 
prowled around seeking to de^rour him, and from the 
vengeance of the supernatural spirits whose cult he forsook 
in becoming a Christian. What name could so effectively 


shield him as that of the most High God ? Nor was such 
a baptismal formula unknown elsewhere ; for as late as the 
second half of the fourth century we meet with it in Asia 
Minor, where Gregory of Nyssa, in his work against 
Eunomius (B. xi, svh fin.) accuses the Aiians of using it. 
They baptised, he says, not in the name of the Father and 
Son and Holy Ghost, but of the Creator and Maker alone. 
And forthwith he proceeds to censure these Arians, who 
in his age were the monotheistic party within the church, 
for holding the Creator of the World to be not merely the 
Father of Christ the only bom son, but also the God of 
Christ, in the same sense in which he is the God of all 
mankind. That is to say, in the opinion of Gregory, the 
use of this formula implied on the part of those who used 
it a failure to recognise the unique divinity of Jesus 
Christ, God Incarnate. 

The other formula, "In the name of God the Father 
and of his Son the Holy Spirit,'' has an unmistakeabie 
second century air. For in the writers of that age the 
distinction between the Divine Son or Word or Christ and 
the Holy Spirit was not yet clearly and universally formu- 
lated. It may be true that the Matthaean formula, ^^ In the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," 
was already written in the gospel, and was destined to 
bring into Christianity the expKcitly Trinitarian formulae, 
which only emerge about the year 200 in Christian litera- 
ture, though they are met with in the writings of the Jew 
Philo a whole two centuries earlier. Still, in Christian 
writers of the second century it is common to find the 
Spirit identified with the Son or Word. Of this identi- 
fication I will now give a few examples, the geographical 
dispersion of the writers in whom we find it proves that in 
the earKest Christian thought it was almost universal. 

1. The Shepherd of Hermas is a monument of the Boman 


Church at the begÌDning of the second century. In it we 
read. Similitude ix, 1 : " The Holy Spirit, for that Spirit 
is the Son of God." The same phrase meets us in Simili- 
tude y, 5, of the same book. 

2. Tertullian, at the close of the same century^ wrote 
in his book against Marcion the following, iii^ 16 : ** The 
Spirit of the Ci^eator which is Christ." And in his treatise 
on Prayer, Ch. i, this : **The Spirit of God and Word of 
God and Season of God^ the Word of Season and Reason 
of the Word, and Spirit, both one and the other is Jesus 
Christ our Lord." 

8. Maximus, of Turin, in his tract against the Jews^ a 
work based on a lost book of the second century^ writes as 
follows : ^' The Immaculate Spirit, that is the Son of God, 
took human flesh of the Virgin Mary." 

4. Justin Martyr, writing about a.d. 140, in his Apology 
for Christianity y i, 33, p. 75 B., says that " we must under- 
stand by the Spirit and the Power which came from Grod 
nothing else than the Word, who is also the Truth bom 
under God." 

5. The pseudo-Cyprianic tract entitled About the 
Mountains of Si/nai and Sion, which was written early in 
the third century, has in its 13th chapter the very Latin 
formula found on the Glamorganshire crosses, " Sanctus 
Spiritus Dei Filius." The whole passage is this : '^ The 
Holy Spirit, the Son of Gt)d, beholds Himself doubled ; 
Father in Son, and Son in Father, they behold Each the 
Other in Himself." And in the sequel the writer identi- 
fies both the Son and the Spirit with the Saviour Christ, 
and adds the following remarkable words : " We, who 
believe in Him (i.e., the Saviour), behold Christ in our- 
selves, as Christ Himself taught and advised us in the 
Epistle of John His disciple to the people, saying : So shall 
ye behold Me in yourselves, as anyone of you beholds him- 


self in water, or in a looking-glass.'^ This Epistle is 

6. In yet another North-African tract, of a later age, 
entitled To Vigilius the Bishop about Jewish Unbelief y we 
find the Spirit identified with the Christ in this passage : 
" The Holy> Spirit, that is Christ our Lord, Who came 
forth from God the Father to save the lost ones of Israel." 

7. In the disputation of. the Catholic Bishop Archelaus 
with Mani, a Latin document of which the Syriac original 
belonged to about the year 275, the Spirit of God which 
descended on Jesus in the baptism in the Jordan is 
identified with the Christ and Son of God. By Its entrance 
into the Man Jesus, the Latter became the chosen and 
adopted Son of God the Father. To the same train of 
thought belonged the error of which Basil of Csesarea, in 
his 72nd Letter, accuses the Arians of Armenia about the 
year 374, the error, namely, of believing that the Holy 
Spirit was older than the Son Jesus Christ. 

In the earliest church, as represented in the Acts of the 
Apostles, baptism in the Name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, seems to have been unknown 
or little used. For converts are baptised in the Name of 
the Lord Jesus {Acts, viii, 16, and xix, 15), or in the Name 
of Jesus Christ {ActSy ii, 38). Nor is there any trace of the 
triple formula in St. Paul's £pistles. It is reasonable to 
conclude that in the earliest church there was in use a 
variety of baptismal invocations; and Basil of Csesarea 
devotes ch. 12 of his treatise on the Holy Ghost to refuting 
those who in baptism invoked the Lord alone, basing their 
usage on the words of St. Paul, OaL iii, 27, *^ All of you 
who have been baptised into Christ." 

It is a very significant fact that the baptismal service in 
the Stowe Missal, the oldest quasi-Celuc service-book we 
have, altogether omits the baptismal invocation. The 


Editor, Mr. Warren, notices in connection with this fact 
that the same omission occurs in other early Sacramen- 
taries, e.g., in the Gelasian and in a ninth century 
Sacramentary, Cod. Colbert., No. 1348, printed by Martene, 
Ordo 5, vol. 1, p. 66, Probably in the Western Church 
there was so much dispute as to what was the right 
formula, that it was long left to individual presbyters to use 
that one which they preferred. The continual insistance 
in the correspondence of the Popes of the seventh and 
eighth centuries on the use of the triple formula as 
essential to true baptism will convey to the mind of every 
critical student of ecclesiastical documents the impression 
that in the preceding ages that formula had not been in 
general use, otherwise so much stress would not suddenly 
come to be laid upon it. No doubt the Popes were wise, 
from their point of view, in insisting on uniformity in this 
matter as a first condition of inclusion in their church, 
with its claims to universality. For catholicity was only 
to be won by the extinction of ^ divergent local usages, and 
baptism as the initiatory rite of the religion was the most 
important of all rites, and that which must the first be 
reduced to uniformity. 

It is not to be supposed that the introduction of 
Christianity into these islands took place as early as the 
second century, and this is not the deduction to be made 
from the survival in Welsh Christianity of religious for- 
mulae of that age. It is too frequently forgotten by the 
historian of Dogma that the development of opinion did 
not go on everywhere at the same rate, and that a new 
conception might easily gain acceptance as early as a.d. 
200, in Rome or Alexandria, which were the two great 
laboratories of Christian speculation in the first age, and 
yet not be adopted in the recesses of Gaul till a hundred 
years later; and then perhaps require another fifty years 


in order to penetrate into Great Britain. That it was 
so in the eastern half of the Christian world we know on 
ample evidence. For the electionist christology which was 
condemned in Rome as early as 190, continued to be 
popular in Antioch as late as 260, when the Emperor 
Aurelian, from mere motives of high policy, suppressed 
it in the person of Paul of Samosata. At the end of that 
century it was still the orthodoxy of the Tigris and 
Euphrates valleys, and it survived among the mountains of 
the Taurus all through the middle a^es, whUe in Spain it 
was not suppressed before the ninth century. The 
presence therefore of such archaic formulae on Welsh 
stones as late as the ninth century only allows us to infer 
that the first missionaries, who, perhaps, not before the 
beginning of the fourth century evangelised Wales, 
idtimately drew their reKgious conceptions from a circle 
of believers such as we know to have remained unmolested 
within the Roman official Church as late as the year 190, 
when Zephyrinus drove them out. Nor did his excom- 
munication mean their extinction in that city, for we read 
in Eusebius that they continued to exist there in force for 
another century at least, with their own bishops and their 
own ecclesiastical organisation, always protesting that they 
were the true Church of Christ and their creed the really 
orthodox one. I believe, therefore, that if we want to 
find the real fountain-head of Celtic Christianity, we must 
go back to the Roman Church of the second century, as it 
was before the Pope Zephyrinus drove out with anathemas 
Theodotus and his followers. In that conflict, so disastrous 
to the whole future of the religion, Theodotus represented 
the conservative element, the official Pope the party of 

In the above pages I have confined my enquiry to the 
one question of what it was that rendered invalid in the 


eyes of Roman ecclesiastics the baptism of the Celtic 
church. But it is evident, even from the scanty records we 
possess, that the differences and antagonism of the rival 
systems extended all along the line. Thus Boniface 
(JBp. Ivii) attests that the Irish bishop Clemens, in the 
province of the Pranks, "opposed the Catholic Church, 
gainsayed and refuted the canons of the Churches of 
Christ and the treatises and sermons of our holy fathers 
Jerome, Augustine and Gregory." Similarly, in the Pope 
Zachariah's letters (No. xi) we read of another Irish 
presbyter named Samson who was reported by Boniface to 
be in favour of dispensing with baptism altogether. This 
may mean, either that Samson merely opposed child 
baptism, or that, like some of the later Cathars, he 
preached a spiritual baptism which superseded the baptism 
by water of John. If we had all the evidence before us, 
we should probably be able to show that the Catharism, 
which in th'e middle ages was the home religion of many 
all over Europe, was largely the legacy of the early Celtic 

Samson, says Zachariah, " holds and avers that a man 
can become a Catholic Christian without any mystic invo- 
cation (of the Trinity) or laver of regeneration, by the 
imposition of the bishop's hands alone." This was exactly 
the teaching of the Albigeois in a later age. 

It is reasonable, also, to suppose that any particular 
form of teaching which Bede, who passed his life com- 
bating the earlier Christianity of these islands, constantly 
and invariably reprobates, was one that was still current 
in his time and belonged to the earlier faith. If so, the 
British Church must certainly have taught that Jesus was 
not bom divine, was not by birth the Christ and head of 
all creation ; but only received the Sonship, the Christhood, 
the Headship when, in the Jordan, after John's baptism. 


the Spirit entered into Him and dwelt in Him. The man 
Jesus was then chosen and adopted Son of God, then 
became Christ, having been until then mere man and 
purely human. This was an orthodox opinion in Rome 
until about 190, when Zephyrinus pronounced against it, 
and in Antioch, until in a.d. 269, it was condemned in 
the person of Paul of Samosata. In outlying circles of 
believers it lingered for centuries later. We may fairly 
infer, from Bede's incessant denunciation of it, that it was 
the characteristic faith of the British Church. 


The Goancil regret that it has not been foand practicable to 
include in this number the paper on " The Greater Wales of the 
Sixth Century," read by Mr. Benest Rhys (Bhya Ooch o Dd/yfed) 
before the Society on Wednesday, the 20th April, 1898. If possible 
it will be included in the next volume of the Society's Trans- 
actions.— [E. V. K.] 

Dbyizbs : 
Pbintkd by Gbo. Simpson. 






SESSION 1898-99. 







1 1 r ' ' 

t - 


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R 19^4 L 

Printed bt Gbobgb Simpson. 


Bepobt op the Council for 1898-9 ... 
Statement of Receipts and Payments for 1898-9 

Early Fortifications in Wales. By the Rev. S. Baking- 

\jrOUIiDy JxL.xx. ... ... , ... ... ... X 

Early Social Life in Wales. By David Brynmor Jones, 

>^*^*) ìu>Jl . ••• ... ... «•• ... iSO 

Geoffrey of Monmouth. By Professor W\ Lewis Jones, 

XVaL • Xa • ••• ••• •■• ••• ••• t/ mk 

Argraphwyr, Cyhoeddwyr, a Llyfrwerthwyr Cymru. Gan 

Isaac Foulkes (Llyjrhryf) ... ... ... 96 




Honourable ^otbtg of Cgmmrooorioti, 

For the Year ending November 9th, 1899, 

Presented to the Annual Meeting, held on Thursday, 

80th of November, 1899. 

The Council have pleasure in reporting that 36 new 
members were added to the Society during the past year, 
but the number of vacancies caused by death has during 
the same period been very considerable. Amongst other 
losses, the Society has to deplore that of two of its Vice- 
Presidents. In the death of Mr. Thomas Ellis, late 
Member of Parliament for Merioneth, Wales lost one 
of her most ardent and devoted sons, and the Society 
of Cymmrodorion one who took a keen and active personal 
interest in its efforts for the encouragement of the study 
of the history and literature of his native country. The 
late Bishop Lloyd was a faithful supporter of the Society, 
and rendered to it valuable service, especially in connection 
with the Cymmrodorion Section of the National Eisteddfod. 
Within the last few days the Society has lost a dis- 
tinguished and zealous member in the person of Dr. Henry 
Hicks, past President of the Geological Society. 


During the year the following meetings were held in 
London : — 


November 17. — Annual Meeting of the Members. 

November 28. — Annual Dinner, held at the Hotel Métropole. 
President, the Right Hon. Lord Kenyon. 

December 19. — Addresses on " The Development of Welsh Indus- 
tries," by Lady Eva Wyndham-Quin, Mrs. Brynmor Jones, 
Lord Justice Vaughan-Williaras, Lord Aberdare and Mr. 
Marchant Williams (in connection with the Welsh Industries 


January 26. — Paper on " Stone Fortifications in Wales and Else- 
where," by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, M.A. 

February 23. — Paper on " Eariy Social Life in Wales," by Mr. 
Brynmor Jones, Q.C., M.P. 

March 8. — Paper on "Geoflfrey of Monmouth,'' by Professor W. 
Lewis Jones, M.A. 

April 19. — Paper on " Hen Argraphwyr Cymru,'' by Mr. Isaac 
Foulkes (Llyfrhryf). 

In Wales: — 

In the Town Hall at Cardiff, in connection with the 
National Eisteddfod of 1899 and under the Presidency of 
Sir Thomas Morel, Mayor of Cardiff, a Meeting was held 
on the 17th of July to discuss the subject of "Technical 
Education in Wales/' when papers were read by Mr. 
W. Edwards, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Merthyr-Tydfil ; 
Mr. R. E. Hughes, H.M. Inspector of Schools, Swansea; 
Mr. D. E. Jones, Inspector of Schools under the Science 
and Art Department ; and Mr. Wm. Lewis, Headmaster 
of the Intermediate School, LlaneUy. 

The arrangements for the coming Session include Papers 
by Principal Rhys, LL.D., on " Some Aspects of Welsh 
Folk Lore"; Professor J. E. Lloyd, M.A., on "Wales and 
the Norman Conquest " ; and the Rev. W. H. Williams 
(TFaic]/7i TF]/n), on "Pennillion and Pennillion Singing". 


Having regard to the state of the country owing to the 
War in South Africa, the Council have decided not to hold 
the Annual Dinner this year. 

During the year the following Publications have been 
issued to members, viz. — 

1. The Transactions for the Session^ 1897-98, containing the follow- 

ing papers : — ^' Early Welsh Bibliography," by Mr. J. H. 
Davies, M.A. (with facsimile Illustrations); "John Wilkin- 
son and the Old Bersham Ironworks," by Mr. Alfred N. 
Palmer (with Illustrations) ; " Welsh Folk Music," by Miss 
Mary Owen (Mrs. Ellis J. Griffith) ; and " The Character of 
the Heresy of the Early British Church," by Mr. F. C. 
Conybeare, M.A. 

2. Part' i of The Writings of Gildas ; being No. 3 of the Cymmro- 

dorion Record Series, edited by the Rev. Professor Hugh 
Williams, of the Theological College, Bala, containing a 
portion of the "Excidio Britannise" (from Mommsen's Text) 
and a Translation thereof. 

In addition there is — 

Ready for immediate issue : — 

The Transactions for the Session 1898-99, containing papers by the 
• Rev. S. Baring Gould, Mr. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C., M.P., 
Professor W. Lewis Jones and Mr. Isaac Foulkes. 

Y CymmrodoTy Vol. XIII, containing an important contribution to 
Welsh Bibliography by Mr. John Ballinger of Cardiff; a 
much required Collation of the Carrẁro-British Saints by 
Professor Kuno Meyer; Further Notes on the Court of 
the President and Council of Wales and the Marches, with 
original documents from the Record Office, edited by Mr. D. 
Lleuf er Thomas ; and a note on the Jesus College Peitki/nen, 
by Professor Rhys. 

Part i of A Catalogue of Manuscripts relating to Wales at the British 
Museum^ being No. 4 of the Cymmrodorion Record Series, 
edited by Mr. Edward Owen. 

In the Press : — 

The Black Book of St. David^s, Part ii of The Writings of Gildas, 
and the Continuation of the Catalogue of Manuscripts. 

It is needful to remind the Members of the Society that 
the expense of producing the new edition of Gildas^ the 


Catalogue of Welsh Maniuscripts, and the Black Book of 8t. 
David's is being borne by the Cymmrodorion Eecord Series 
Fund. The Council, in the exercise of its discretion, has 
resolved that the Catalogue of Manuscripts shall be issued 
free to members upon application, and that the edition of 
GHldas, which will be in three parts, shall be supplied to 
them for an advance payment of 10«. 6d. for the .whole 
work. Arrangements have been made with Mr. D. Nutt 
for the publication and sale of the work to non-members 
at One Guinea. 

For the next number of the Record Series the Council 
have entered into an arrangement with Professor W. Lewis 
Jones, of the University College of North Wales, to bring 
out a new edition of the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
with a Translation and Critical Notes. 

It is also in contemplation to obtain a complete trans- 
cript of the correspondence of the three Morrises (Lewis, 
Richard, and William Morris) now in the British Museum, 
with a view to future publication. 

Furthermore the Council hope to avail themselves of the 
offer of Mr. John Ballinger to edit, for Y GymmrodoTy Sir 
Richard Colt Hoare's Transcript of so much of Leland's 
Itinerary as relates to Wales. 

The Council desire to record their thanks to the 
Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors for the use of 
their Hall for the Annual Conversazione and for a dona- 
tion to the funds of the Society. 

The following presents received for the Library were 
duly acknowledged, viz. — 

By-goneSj presented by Messrs. Woodall, Minshall and Co. 

The Journal of the University of Upsalay presented by the 

The Calendar of the University of North WaleSj presented by 
Professor Lloyd. 


Under the Society's Rules the terms of office of the 
following Officers expire, viz. : — 

The President, 

The Vice-Presidents, 

The Auditors, 

and 10 members retire in accordance with Rule 4, viz. :— 

Mr. Stephen Evans. 

„ Alfred Daniell. 

„ J. II. Davies. 

„ W. Cadwaladr Davies. 

„ W. E. DAVIES. 

„ E. Vincent Evans. 

„ William Evans. 

„ Ellis J. Griffith, M.P. 

„ W. Tudor Howell, M.P. 

„ T. H. W. Idris. 

The Financial Statement for the year is appended to 
this Report. 

NO ot~ >^ H 

." 3 1 



f- 1 



o fa 




l^onouraSCe ^ocié^ of €]^mmtobotion« 

SESSION 1898-99. 





A FEATURE of HO Ordinary interest, alike in Wales, Corn- 
wall, and Devon, in Scotland and Ireland, is the stone 
castles, fortresses constructed of stone uncut and not set 
in mortar, that are there found, and that, in common, 
possess characteristics seemingly indicating that they were 
the work of one people. 

It is, of course, possible, that various peoples at very 
different periods may have constructed defences of a 
similar description, and we must not hastily conclude a 
common origin when we find that these fortresses have 
features of great similarity. Nothing but pick and spade 
can settle the question as to the epoch at which they were 
erected^ and even that will not tell us who were the people 
who constructed them. 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion at 20, 
Hanover Square, on Thursday, the 26th of January, 1899 ; Chairman, 
Mr. Edward Laws, F.S.A. 



The camps that are everywhere so numerous in Eng- 
land, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales demand a much closer 
scrutiny than has been accorded to them hitherto. 

Those in Scotland have, indeed, been taken in hand in 
a manner truly scientific, and that quite recently, by 
Mr. Christison ; but he has not been able to do more than 
record the situations and their shapes and characteristics ; 
he has not been able to excavate them ; and till this has 
been done, these interesting monuments of a demote past 
remain mysterious, they have not yielded up the secret 
of their origin. 

However, the work accomplished by him has been most 
valuable. The forts have been catalogued, classified, and 
planned. This, in itseK, is an achievement, the more 
important as these earthworks are being gradually de- 
stroyed by the plougher and the quarryman. 

It may be said — Why re-plan when the Ordnance 
Survey has been made, and we have on the sheets issued 


by the Survey all that we require ? But, unfortunately, 
the Government did not employ the men most qualified to 
plan antiquities^ and my own experience assures me that 
in a number of instances the plans given on the 6in. and 
26in. scales are not altogether to be trusted. Camps of 
great importance are incompletely given^ and some are 
inaccurately recorded. This likewise has been Mr. 
Christison's experience in Scotland. He says : — " Un- 
fortunately, in the occasional unreliability of the plans 
themselves, I soon discovered that while some left nothing 
to be desired in point of accuracy and fulness of detail, 
as far as the 'smallness of the scale permitted, others were 
evidently either defective or erroneous, while in not a few 
instances I found only ''site of a fort" marked, where the 
remains were quite as substantial as in cases in which 
plans were given. 


" This inequality in the work was due to the abandon- 
ment of the original design to combine a special archaeo- 
logical survey, by enlisting the aid of experts, with the 
general one of the country — a combination actually started 

in Ireland, but relinquished almost at once 

It was also unfortunate that the routine of the service 
removed officers who, by the interest they felt in the 
work and by practice, had attained special skill in 
planning these remains, to make room for novices who 
had no sooner gone through the same apprenticeship, than 
they also had to go." 

But this is not all. The original maps, as drawn by the 
surveyors, would perhaps shew a much better plan than 
has been actually published. This is due to the drawings 
having been gone over by officers after the plans had been 
made, who struck out a quantity of detail as unimportant, 
because they themselves were indifferent to matters of 
archaeological interest. 

I had an opportunity of seeing some of these original 
drawings with reference to remains of considerable value 
from an antiquarian point of view, which I asked the 
Ordnance officer to insert in a new edition. The officer 
most readily and graciously sent down a surveyor to plan 
what was desired, when to our mutual surprise we found 
that this had been done with conscientious accuracy on 
the occasion of the survey, but had been subsequently 
cut out by the revisers. 

The result of this unfortunate condition of affairs is 
that the planning of the fortified strongholds, which might 
have been well done at the outset, has now to be under- 
taken again ; and that, unhappily, it is never quite safe to 
trust the Ordnance Survey where it indicates the presence 
of a camp, but each must be separately visited, and in- 
vestigated, to ascertain whether planned correctly, or 

B 2 


whether incompletely mapped. I may notice a very 
important camp^ or pair of camps, in my own immediate 
neighbourhood, the site, as I hold, of the great battle of 
Gavulford, fought between the Britons and Saxons in 823. 
It is on the side of the highway from Okehampton to 
Launceston. Here some of the most characteristic features 
are entirely omitted. But let us now address ourselves to 
the different kinds of fortifications of an early date to be 
found in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall and 

1. — ^There are the camps that are rectangular, or 
approximately so, and which have been attributed to the 
Bomans. These shall not detain us. 

2. — There are those which consist of a tump or mound, 
sometimes wholly artificial, usually natural, and adapted 
by art, and in connection with this is a base-court, quadri- 
lateral usually, but not so invariably. This was the Saxon 
type — possibly also that of the Northmen. The Normans 
adopted it from the Merovingians, whose type was identical 
with that of the Saxons. The classic passage descriptive 
of these is in the life of St. John of Terouanne, by 
Colmieu, in the eleventh century, which though often 
quoted, I will venture to quote again. 

^^ It was customary for the rich men and nobles of these 
parts, because their chief occupation is the carrying on of 
feuds, in order that they may be safe from their enemies, 
and may have greater power for either conquering their 
equals, or oppressing their inferiors, to heap up a mound 
of earth as high as they are able, and to dig round it a 
broad, open, and deep ditch, and to girdle the whole upper 
edge of the mound, instead of a wall, with a barrier of 
wooden planks, stoutly fastened together, and set round 
with numerous turrets. Within was constructed a house, 
or rather a citadel, commanding the whole, so that the 


gate of entry could alone be approached by means of a 
bridge^ which, springing from the counterscarp of the 
ditch, was gradually raised as it advanced, supported by 
sets of piers, two, or even three, trussed on each side over 
convenient spans, crossing the ditch with a managed 
ascent, so as to reach the upper level of the mound, land- 
ing on its edge on a level at the threshold of the gate." 

A very good idea of such a camp and fort may be derived 
from the representation of the fortifications of Dinan in 
the Bayeux tapestry. 

In France the mottes abound on which the wooden 
donjons of the Merovingian chiefs were planted about; but 
in many cases the rampart of the base-court has disappeared. 
In Wales there are numerous motes. A capital example, 
with its base-court, is near St. David's, above the Alun 
ravine, opposite the mill. This has been planned for the 
ArchcBologia Gambrensis. The general opinion, which I do 
not share, is that the mote is of a different age, and is of a 
different character from the rudely quadrilateral camp. I 
hold that in this we have a typical fortification of the 
Saxon, perhaps also Danish, perioU and mode of construc- 

In England there are many examples, as Plympton in 
Devon, Launceston Castle, Windsor, Norwich and Ely. 
In Ireland they are also found in large numbers; so also in 
Scotland. All apparently belong to the same period, and 
all are probably the work of Danish and Saxon invaders. 

In Ireland they are called motes; not so in England, 
where they are termed burhs. Of those in Ireland^ 
Thomas Wright, in the first half of last century, says, 
that " mounds simple, or trenched, or with base-courts, 
are common all along the English Pale, and even as far as 
the TÍ.E. sea, but chiefly near the N.E. coast.'" 

^ Louthianaj 1748. 


In Scotland they are very unequally distributed. In the 
Highlands they may be said not to exist at all. With the 
exception of a few by the Firth of Tay, there are none so 
far north as Edinburgh, whereas they abound in the 
Western Lowlands^ especially in Kirkcudbright. 

I will not detain you longer over these, but pass on at 
once to the next classes. 

3. — ^This — a common type of castle — consists of oval or 
circular spaces enclosed within one or more concentric 
rings of banks and ditches. Of these there are very fine 
examples to be seen in Cornwall^ in Ireland, and in 
Scotland. There is, however, a variant — where a head- 
land is fortified. Here two or more lines of mound and ditch 


were drawn across the neck of land. These camps or castles 
are usually supposed, I think reasonably, to be Celtic. 

Let us now see what information concerning them we 
can obtain from early Irish authorities. 

The terms employed in Ireland for camps are : rath, lis, 
duuy catlmir, caisel. 

The rath is thus described by Mr. Eugene O'Curry^ : — 
"It was a simple circular wall or enclosure of raised 
earth, enclosing a space of more or less extent, in 
which stood the residence of the chief and sometimes the 
dwellings of one or more of the officers or chief men of 
the tribe or court. Sometimes, also, the rath consisted of 
two or three concentric walls or circumvallations ; but it 
does not appear that the erection so called was ever 
intended to be surrounded with water." 

The word raith or rath has various meanings. It is 
employed of a stronghold, also of a guarantor, or surety, 
but as well of wages or subsidy. The word has been 
recognised on the inscribed Gaulish stone near Poitiers. 

^ Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, 1873, iii, p. 3. 


It is employed in Wales over a limited area, in Pem- 
broke only, where seventeen forts are called raiths.^ In 
Scotland it is uncommon. It occurs possibly in East 
Anglia; not other than doubtfully in Cornwall and in 

The rath had sometimes an outer enclosure in which 
cattle could be impounded for security at night, and this 
was called in Ireland an airlis, Bath may perhaps be 
taken as a generic name for fort. Of forts there were two 
kinds among the Gadhaels : — ^the lis and the dun. 

The lis was the fort or homestead of a jlath or no'ble. 
But the term in Brittany signified rather a Court in 
which justice was administered. The jlath. in Ireland 
corresponded to the arglwydd in Wales and the hlafford 
or eorl of the Anglo-Saxons. Every Jlath had his lis, 
and as therein he administered justice, the secondary 
meaning employed in Brittany arose, just as court in 
English comes from cases being heard in the curia, or 
courtyard, of the lord or prince.^ 

We must expect to find a lis in every district over 
which, in Celtic times, an arglwydd or chieftain held 

In Ireland there are no fewer than 1,400 towns and 
villages that begin with lis; there are many others into 

^ The term rath as applied to earthen camps is confined to the 
hundred of Roose and a part of that of Dau-gleddyf . In Glamorgan- 
shire the name occurs in one instance only. Roath, a district in 
Cardiff, may derive from rath. 

^ This is a late meaning ; for in early Celtic times there was no 
executive. A Brehon established the amount of eric or fine legally 
due for a tort^ but there was no administration of justice. Every 
maniiad to take the law into his own hands, it was so in Ireland. 
It was so in Wales, but it is possible that at the late period in 
which Brittany was colonised, some idea of the Roman administra- 
tion of Justice may have been entertained and admitted by the 


the names of which lis enters in composition; but in 
some instances it is a corruption of eaglais, the Gaelic 
form of ecclesià. In Scotland, lis means any enclosure — 
as a garden or park. In Wales lis occurs frequently, as 
in such names as Lisburne, Llysfaen, Llysmeirchion. 

It occurs also frequently in Cornwall, as Liskeard, 
Lesnewth, Listewdrig, Lescaddock, Lescawn, Lesmanech, 
Lestormel, now corrupted into Eestormel. 

It has been suggested that the Court-leet is a compound 
word of which leet stands for the Celtic lis. In the Laws 
of Howel Dda llys is employed in conjunction as descrip- 
tive of the principal or royal court, as that of a cwmmwdy 
and as an extraordinary court appointed by the King to 
hear and decide in actions at law, which the ordinary 
judges could not determine. 

But this is a comparatively modern employment of the 
word, precisely similar to that now given to court. For 
in Wales, as in Ireland, certainly the original system was 
for each man to take reprisals when injured. The Brehon 
was not a judge, but an hereditary depository of the law 
of fines, who declared what was the eric or fine due for 
every tort. But there was no executive. The aggrieved 
had to enforce the fines as best he could. It was com- 
paratively late that the administration of justice was 
taken in hand by the chiefs and kings. 

Lis is found also in English counties, but there we can 
not be so sure of the Celtic origin of the name. 

In Ireland les retained its primary meaning as an 
enclosure, and is equivalent to the Norse gar^. 

In the Life of 8. Oarthagh, or Mochuda, it is said that 
when he was driven out of Rathin, in King's County, he 
came to the King of the Deise, who granted him a plot of 
land; whereupon Carthagh began to throw up a circular 
enclosure of earth. A woman, seeing a crowd of monks 


thus engaged, went up to them and asked what they were 
doing. "We are setting up here a small lis," was the 
reply. " Lis beg ! (a small lis) " exclaimed the woman, 
" it seems to me that this is like to be a lis mor (a big 
lis)." And ever since this foundation of Carthagh has 
borne the name of Lismore. Also, in the old Brehon 
laws, lis or les is employed as an enclosure, such as the 
outer yard to a mansion. A woman against whom her 
husband had published a lampoon was entitled to demand 
of him in reparation the full amount of her coibch^ or 
bridal-gift, outside the lêss^ and the full amount of his 
ericy or fine, for wrong done within the enclosure. I 
think we may take lü to be precisely the equivalent of 
the base Latin curtis or curia, having several significations. 

In Ireland every King Rig had a dun. This was no 
more than an enlarged lis, with an outer court in which 
could be kept the giall, or hostages ; for the law required 
this. "He is not a king who has not hostages within 

Thus, every kingdom had in it a dun^ in Welsh din; 
and dinas is another form for the name of the Royal 

A gloss to an old Irish law tract defines a dv/n as " two 
walls with water." But I do not suppose that it was 
essential that the ditches should contain water, or that 
the banks should be surmounted by walls. The gloss was 
written after the Norman invasion, and after the custom 
of moated and walled castles in the Norman fashion had 

Dun in Scotland signifies a fort ; but according to the 
Gaelic dictionaries it is " a heap or mound " of any kind. 
Even a dunghill is a dun.^ Consequently we find dwm, 

^ Christisorif p. 301. 


not in Scotland only but in Cornwall and Devon as hills^ 
where there were no forts. Indeed in dunes, the FrencH 
word, we have it applied to the sandbanks on the sea 
coast ; in Cornish towan. 

That the term dun was applied to fortified places of old 
by the Celts everywhere would appear from the way in 
which it enters into the composition of so many British 
and Gaulish place-names that come to us in Latin form, 
Cambodunum, Camalodunum, Maridunum ; in Gaul, 
Uxellodunum, Verodunum, Lugdunum, Csesarodunum. 

Dvm, so much resembles the Anglo-Saxon tim, that un- 
doubtedly many place-names in England, which were 
duns, have been converted into towns : just as duns, which 
are hills, have been rendered Downs. 

Dinas is but another form of dun. In Cornwall we 
find both employed, as Pendinas, Dinas Geraint, and 
Dun-dagil, Dunheved, Dunvean. 

The dum, is the same sl^ the Gaulish oppidum, the centre 
of a pagus. The Romans employed the word pagus to 
express territorial sub-division of a territory. Oppida 
were elevated places of refuge to which the people 
belonging to a district fled for protection in the event of 
hostile invasion. 

There would be not merely the royal dwn, but also 
others throughout a district occupied by a Tribe; all of 
these undoubtedly so placed as to be able by signal to 
communicate with one another. 

According to Irish law the dun of a king was surrounded 
by a second rampart called the drecht gialnai, or dyke of 
the hostages. This second rampart was intended for 
keeping within the fort, under watch and ward, those 
pledges of allegiance, without which a Rig Rurech was not 
considered to be a true king.^ The Rig Tuatha, or under 

^ W. K. Sullivan, in Introduction to O'Curry, Manners and Cvstorm 
of the Ancient Irishy I, ccxxxviii. 


king, did not require such an addition to his dun, as he did 
not possess the right of keeping hostages under his ward. 

Within the dun were numerous structures of timber. 
In the Rath-na-Righ at Tara stood the House of the 
Thousand Soldiers, and the Banqueting Hall. In the story 
of Branwen, in the Mahinogionj in the dun oi Matholwch 
was a great hall with a hundred pillars on each side. The 
Irish duns seem also to have had a grianan or look-out. 

The Irish heroic tales give such extravagant pictures of 
the royal buildings within the duns that no reliance can 
be placed on them. The utmost that can be concluded 
from them is that the structures were of deal, roofed with 
oak shingles, and with ornamental carved work cut in yew, 
and that some of the habitations within the enclosure of 
the dum, were of wicker work, with conical roofs, and that 
they were thatched with rushes. 

Very frequently use was made of a headland in part 
surrounded by the sea, or a loop of a river; and the steep 
scarp on some of the sides rendered complete circumvalla- 
tion unnecessary. Of these there are numerous examples 
in Wales and in Cornwall. I will instance one — a fine 
one near Porth Rhaw — between Solva and St. David's. 
This is being fast consumed by the sea, but there still 
remain imposing banks on the land side, and there were 
till recently traces of hut-circles within it. 

Around the royal dun lived his retainers, the sen- 
cleithes who were landless, and were comprised of such as 
were descended from strangers whom the king had taken 
under his protection, prisoners of war, and such as had fled to 
him for sanctuary. 

Every king had his lawn about the dun. The extent of 
sanctuary was decreed by law. Every freeman, or aire, had 
a right to accord sanctuary. The limit was determined by 
the throwing of the cnairseachy either a hammer, or a coulter, 


or a wand. The lowest grade of jlathy or noble, could 
extend sanctuary to within three throws from his door. 
Each grade of nobility above had double the extent of 
sanctuary to that below, up to the Rig^ or King, whose 
sanctuary extended to the distance of sixty- four throws. 

The sanctuary of a saint was a thousand paces ; that of a 
bishop, two thousand. 

4. — I come now to the stone fortresses that are 
found along the West Coast of England and Wales, 
that are also found in Scotland, and Ireland. Those 
in Ireland are usually called caisels or cashels. In Wales 
there are many. I need only mention a few, Tre'rceiri, 
Carn Ingli, Tregarn, Cam Goch, Carn Vawr, and St. David's 
Head. In Somersetshire there are Whorlebury and Stoke- 
ley Camps. In Devon, White Tor and Cranbrook. In 
Cornwall, the Cheesewring, Oarnbrea, Tregonning camp, 
Chun castle, and Castel-an-Dinas. 

The account given of Castel-an-Dinas, before it was 
robbed for the erection of a tower, is precisely such as 
might be given of any of these others. ^' It consisted of 
two stone walls, one within the other in a circular form, 
surrounding the area of the hill. The ruins are now fallen 
on each side of the walls, and show the work to hate been 
of great height and thickness. There was also a third or 
outer wall built more than half way round. Within these 
walls are many little enclosures of a circular form, about 
seven yards diameter, with little walls round them of two 
or three feet high : they appear to have been so many 
huts for the shelter of the garrison."^ 

In Scotland there are, Harefaulds in Lauderdale, Dreva 
in Peebles, Castle Law in Perthshire, Arbory in Clydesdale, 
and others. 

^ Cotton, W. "Account of certain Hill Castles near the Lands 
End," Archceologittf xxii. 


In Ireland they are chiefly found on the West Coast, and 
the finest examples are in the Aran Isles. The most 
perfect are Staigue Fort in Kerry (the dun at Ballymabuyht, 
also in Kerry), the stupendous series in Aran, and Dunbeg 
in Sligo. These have been photographed and illustrated in 
the late Earl of Dunraven's admirable Notes on Irish 
Architectv/rey 1875, but the planning has been very inade- 
quately done, and no excavations have been made to deter- 
mine their period. 

These caers are oval or round, or approximately so, and 
consist of concentric rings of walls. Within, a platform 
usually runs round the inner wall of the castle, reached 
by steps, to enable the defenders to hurl stones, and shoot 
their arrows at their assailants. 

These camps have sometimes obstacles placed outside 
the walls, consisting of upright stones set sufficiently close 
together to break up an attacking force. In Dun Aengus, 
for instance, " a few yards in advance of the wall is placed 
a belt 60 to 80 ft. broad, composed of long narrow stones 
set on end, and sloping irregularly outwards, and placed 
at irregular distances, but with about room for a man to 
pass between them. This labyrinth of stones is evidently 
intended, like the chevaux defrise of a modern fortification, 
to retard the approach of an assailant ; and to scatter and 
expose to the weapons of the garrison any body of men 
who might have crossed the exterior wall.'^ 

Precisely similar obstacles have been observed in the 
stone forts in Anglesea and at Caer Helen, in Carnarvon- 

The walls of these Irish castles were constructed 
usually of two faces of large stones with rubble between ; 
sometimes, however, of three sets of walls built one against 

^ Archceolog. Journal^ vol. xxv, p. 228. 


another, and not tied into one another. The stones of 
the walls are, usually, however, end on, that their length 
in the wall might serve as a bind ; but this is not always 
the case, they are also built with them laid horizontally, 
their full length exposed. 

Nearly all these cashels have or have had hut circles 
within their enclosures. In them mortar has never been 
employed. The Welsh examples, and those in Scotland 
and Cornwall, present precisely similar features. 

There is yet another word for a camp employed in all 
Celtic countries, cathair in Irish, caer in Welsh. In 
Ireland the cathair signifies a circular stone fort. Another 
word, car, carig, rock, enters into place-names. We 
cannot always be sure whether the name of a locality be- 
ginning with car derives from a rock or a castle. The 
derivation of cathair seems to be from cath, the Welsh 
cad, battle. It enters into many names in composition ; 
with the sense of strong. Cathair came to be used of a 
city, of a stronghold, that is, a place which could with- 
stand assault. Caer you have in Caerleon, Caer Wrangon, 
Caer Gawch ; in Cornwall in Caer Bran, Caer KiefE, Caer 
Gonin, Carhayes. 

In the vast majority of cases the walls are in complete 
ruins, so complete that it is often doubtful at first sight 
whether they ever were upright and faced; and the 
condition in which we find them seems quite inexplicable, 
so complete is the ruin. 

After having seen several of the old Gaulish oppida, 1 
have cause to suspect that the same cause that has ruined 
them may have been the occasion of the ruin with us. 
The walls of these oppida were composed of stones placed 
in courses, rudely, without mortar, and tied together by 
means of beams of oak which ran through the walls, and 
also sometimes were placed in the walls horizontally in 


the same face with the stone-work, but with beams mortised 
into them at right angles running through the thickness 
of the wall. The object of this timber work was to com- 
pact the whole together. 

Now, although this woodwork was eminently useful for 
awhile, no sooner did decay set in than it precipitated the 
destruction of the walls ; they went to pieces and fell in 
heaps in utter confusion. I have examined the great 
mounds of fallen limestones of Murcens and Puy d'Tssola, 
and can explain their present condition in no other way. 

Where, as in the Aran Isles and at Tre'rceiri, we find 
the walls fairly perfect, it is in those localities where no 
timber was to be had, and therefore the walls had to be 
constructed solely of stone. 

This employment of beams in the wall may have given 
occasion to the vitrifying of some forts. In one at Gueret 
in Creuse the vitrification has been carried through 
channels in the stone work, just such as might have been 
formed by beams. Where there is limestone, of course 
fire does not vitrify. Perhaps accident in a granite fort 
led to the discovery of the advantage of vitrification, and 
the woodwork that was in the wall materially assisted in 
the work of carrying on the heat and dissolving the stone. 

That the walls were faced, we know for certain, for 
under the great debris at Tregam and St. David's Head the 
pick reveals the face distinctly above the original base. 

When we come to the question as to who were the 
first caer or cashel builders, we find it difficult to give an 

We do not know, for instance, in Gaul, whether the 
Celts on arriving boiTowed this mode of construction from 
the aboriginal inhabitants, the men of the rude stone 
monuments, or whether they discovered it themselves. 
In Ireland there is no hesitation among the old authors 


in attributing the stone cathair to the primitive popula- 
tion that was subdued by the Gadhaels. All the great 
stone forts, with one exception, are by them referred to 
the Firbolgs, or Tuatha de Danann, another branch of the 
same Nemidian race. 

Lord Dunraven says : — " The legends of these early 
builders are preserved in the compilations of Irish scribes 
and bardic writers dating from the twelfth to the fifteenth 
centuries. The story, which is said by these writers to 
have been handed down orally during the earliest centuries 
of the Christian era, and committed to writing when that 
art first became known in Ireland, is the history of the 
wanderings and final destruction of a hunted and perse- 
cuted race, whose fate would seem to have been mournful 
and strange as the ruined fortresses of the last tribe 
which now stand before us. Coming to Ireland through 
Britain, they seem to have been long beaten hither and 
thither, till, flying still westward, they were protected by 
Ailill and Maeve, who are said to have reigned in Con- 
naught about the first century of the Christian era. 
From these monarchs they obtained a grant of lands 
along the Western coast of Galway, as well as the Islands 
of Aran, where they remained till their final defeat, Thus 
their forms seem to pass across the deep abyss of time, 
like the white flakes of foam that are seen drifted by the 
worrying wind over the wild and wasted ruins of their 
fortresses." ^ 

It is not possible to accept these tales as history. 
Nevertheless, there must be some ground for them, at 
least for the association of this subjugated people with 
the relics of stone forts that are found in the territory 
they once occupied. 

^ Notes on Irish Architecture, Dublin 1875-7. 


And one reason why we cannot frankly accept them as 
historical is that the cashels themselves do not appear to 
be works that have been thrown up in haste, but rather 
laboriously undertaken, and intended to last for generations. 
There is no token of hurry in the builders. The stones 
used as headers are tilted downwards towards the face of the 
wall, a device adopted to keep the water out of the joints 
by letting the moisture drain oflP the surface. In many 
cases vertical jointings are observable in the walls, shewing 
that they were constructed in short lengths, each com- 
pleted independently of the other, in, as the French would 
say, '^parcs.^' 

• N"ow, although, as I have said, we cannot accept the 
legends connected with the Firbolgs flying for protection 
to Maeve, headed by their chieftain Aengùs, neverthe- 
less those mentioned in the legend are not wholly mythical 
■personages.^ A significant story is told in a poem by 
Flann of Monasterboyce, of the palace of Aileach near 
Loch Foyle, in Derry. It was constructed by Carrgenn, 
one of the Tuatha de Danann, at a remote period. But in 
the reign of Fiacha Sraibtiné, who was killed in a.d. 322, 
it was granted to Frigrinn, a young Scottish chief, who 
had eloped with the daughter of the King of Alba, brought 
her over to Erin, and put himself under the Irish King's 
protection. Within the old cashel Frigrinn built a mag- 
nificent palace — of timber of course. The term Aileach 

^ The legend is this. When Cairbre Niafer reigned in Leinster 
and Connor Mac Ness in Ulster, there was a migration of Firbolgs 
from Scotland, pressed from their residences there by the Picts. 
Cairbre Niafer gave them territory, but so oppressed them with 
tribute, that unable to endure it they sought the protection of 
Maeve and her husband, AüiU, in Connaught. She granted them the 
West coast in Mayo, Galway, and Clare, and the islands of Aran, 
where they fortified themselves. 



itself implies " a stone structure", as ail, a stone, and ach, 
the common adjective termination. 

Professor O'Curry says: "Without at all entering at 
present into any investigations of the long discussed ques- 
tion of the veracity of our ancient records and traditions, 
which declare that this island was occupied in succession 
by the Parthalonians, the Nemedians, the Firbolgs, the 
Tuatha da Danann, and finally by the Milesians or Scoti ; 
it must strike every unprejudiced reader as a very remark- 
able fact, that the Scoti, who were the last colony, and 
consequently the historians of the country, should actually 
have recorded, by name and local position, several distinct 
monuments, still existing, of three out of the four peoples 
and races who are said to have occupied the country before 
themselves. And I cannot discover any sufficient reason 
why they should concede to their predecessors the credit 
of being the founders of Tara, the seat of monarchy, as 
well as of some others of the most remarkable and historic 
monuments of the whole country, unless they had been 

An old Irish poem thus describes Tara, and shews at 
the same time the various uses of the terms for fort. 

" In the demesne of Tara . . . 
Seven bailes (townlands) and seven lisseSy 
Seven duns in the Dun of Tara, 
Seven score houses in each dun, 
Seven hundred warriors in each dunJ^ 

According to early Irish authorities there were distinct 
classes of builders for raths and for cashels. The rath 
builder dealt with earth and palisading, the cashel builder 
with stone ; and in the Booh of Leinster are actually given 
the names of the great builders with stone, and those who 
built the rathsy carefully distinguished the one from the 


It is surely most probable that the art of building stone 
forts should belong to the dusky race that raised the rude 
stone monuments. If, as is now the received opinion, our 
Celtic ancestors migrated from the Alps, where they 
had lived on the phalbailteriy and had become extremely 
skilful artificers in wood and wicker work, then we may 
suspect that when these entered the British isles, they 
erected raths and Uses and duns of earth and palisading, 
and that when they did erect stone fortresses, they 
employed for the purpose artificers of the conquered race, 
or else acquired the art from them. 

The habitations within these forts are but hut circles, 
and the hut circle certainly goes back to the early bronze 
age, when flint weapons were still in use, and cairns were 
erected containing kistvaens and cromlechs. 

Recently, one of these stone caers has been examined on 
the borders of Dartmoor. The exploration has shewn that 
it belonged to the period when bronze was extremely rare, 
and the weapons and tools employed were of flint. The 
pottery was all of the same period and type as that found 
in the barrows of the dawn of the bronze period, some two 
thousand years before the Christian era. 

Cambrea is another camp of the same description, in 

Cornwall. That, also, has been very exhaustively explored. 

It was a caer that must have been suddenly deserted, for in 

one hut-circle was found a heap of beautifully executed and 

unused flint tanged arrowheads among the chips where 

they had been fashioned, also a gabro celt. Although at 

Cambrea there was evidence that the place had been 

— I can hardly say occupied, but visited at subsequent 

periods — a denarius of Vespasian was found — yet the vast 

bulk of remains belonged to the Neolithic or early 

bronze age. 

During the summers of 1898 and. 1899 Mr. E. Burnard 



and myself made a very thorough exploration of the stone 
fortresses on St. David's Head aiid Moel Tregarn. Within 
the enclosure of the former are several hut circles, and 
these we cleared completely out. Some superficial work had 
been done there before by Mr. Fenton, and later by Mr. 
Freeman and Mr., afterwards Bishop, Basil Jones. We 
found where they had severally been at work. Here we 
did find some flint tools, a scraper, but the bulk of the 
find was of spindle whorls of stone, some ornamented, 
blue, white, and black glass beads of prse-Eoman manu- 
facture, or at all events of native make shewing no signs 
of Eoman infiuence, a very little pottery, too little to form 
any conclusion from it, some iron articles deeply corroded 
with rust, and numerous perforated slate weights for 

Here was a fort occupied perhaps over a thousand years 
later than those of Carnbrea and White Tor, and yet of 
much the same character, and containing hut circles of 
exactly similar description. 

The noble fortress of Tregarn told precisely the same 
tale, save that there no trace of earlier occupation than the 
iron age could be found. St. David's Head, Carn Vawr, 
Carn Ingli, and Tregarn, form a chain of fortresses in 
communication the one with the other, all similar in 
character. Carn Vawr has been recently pillaged and 
almost destroyed by quarrymen from Fishguard. 

I confess, to me it looks very much as if these fortresses 
had been erected by Irish Groidels, who had acquired from 
those whom they had subdued in Erin the art of raising 
stone castles, and stone claughans or bee-hive huts. 

The great building race of the Firbolgs was not exter- 
minated in pre-historic times. On the contrary, it con- 
tinued to maintain an independent existence down to 
the sixth century, and was even then powerful. The 


whole country of Hy-Many, in the present counties of 
Gralway and Roscommon, was in the actual possession of 
the Firbolgs when, about that time, it was forcibly 
wrested from them by Maine Mor. There is a curious 
account of this conquest in the Life of St. Grreallan, an 
abstract from which is published in the "Tribes and 
Customs of Hy-Many.'' ^ 

But there can, I think, be no question but that the 
subjugated Firbolgs elsewhere had assisted in the forma- 
tion of the religion, customs and political constitution of 
their conquerors. If we find in West Wales and in 
Brecknockshire remains of stone forts precisely similar, if 
not identical, in character with those attributed to the 
Firbolgs in Ireland, and these are traditionally associated 
with the Grwyddel invasions of Wales, we may suppose 
that the Irish Milesians, fused with the subjugated 
Firbolgs, had learned from them to construct these 

We cannot be sure : all this is matter of conjecture. 
And so it must remain till systematic exploration in 
Ireland, in Wales, in Cornwall, and in Scotland, has told 
us more of the builders. That the Irish invaders 
and conquerors in Britain did erect forts there we 
know from a passage in the Glossary of Gormac, who 
died in 903. He says, spealfing of the period circ. 
350-380, "At this time the power of the Gradhaels 
was great over the Britons. They had divided Albion 
among them into farms, and each of them had a 
neighbour and friend among the people"; and he goes 
on to say that . they established fortresses throughout 
the land, and founded one at Glastonbury. "One of 
those divisions of land is Dun MacLiathan in the country 

' Irish Archaeological Society^ 1843. 


of the Britons of Cornwall."^ I will nov/ mention some 
of the peculiarities of these stone caers. 

That of Tre'rceiri I have not seen, but I have gone over 
the wonderful Cam Goch in Carmarthen§hire, and I have 
closely studied both St. David's Head and Tregarn. 

I have already alluded to the obstacles in the Irish duns 
and Welsh cliff castles. Mr. Christison describes very 
similar obstacles of planted stones at Cademuir fort, in 
Peebleshire, and Dreva in the same county. 

Another method of forming obstacles was by spreading 
sheets of loose stones below the fort walls. These are 
artificially laid in several Scottish examples. At Whit 
Tor on Dartmoor, such a "clatter" of stones exists, mostly 
natural, but in part artificial. At Cam Gôch^ the sides of 
the hill top are strewn with broken masses of stone, to all 
appearance purposely placed there, but having bare turf 
leading to the entrances, which entrances are otherwise 
defended. A second feature is the wall containing in it 
circular chambers^ usually grouped in threes. This is said 
to occur at Tre'rceiri. But they are found likewise in 
Cornwall and Devon. I confess myself to doubt their 
being structural, at all events at Carn Goch, and in the 
Devon and Cornwall examples close examination shows 
them to have been made by masons in search of big stones 
or by men digging out foxes. 

At Carn Goch is a huge cairn occupying the highest 
point within the enclosure. At Tregarn are three. These 
cairns are almost certainly not erected over the dead, and 
are in all probability stores of stone to be employed as 
projectiles, or for the repair of the wall. 

^ Three Irish Glossames. Lond. 1862. MacLiathan took its name 
from the Ily Liathan, who occupied the territory afterwards forming 
the Barony of Barrymore in Cork. This gives us an indication of the 
region whence some of the Gywddel invaders came. Mommsen, in his 
edition of Nennius, says that MacLiathan was in South Wales. 


At Whit Tor on Dartmoor there is a similar walled 
camp, and an outcrop of trap-rock has been utilised to 
build about it a huge cairn. But in the centre of the 
cairn is a round patch of turf or moss on the rock. This 
cairn has been thoroughly explored, and showed con- 
clusively that it was not erected over the dead. 

It has been noticed by me that in our Dartmoor, and in 
the Cornish instauQes of caerau of stone, there is often a 
chamber or hut-circle outside. And in the admirably 
preserved Fort of the Wolves, West of Dingle, in Kerry, 
there is actually such a chamber perfect in the thickness 
of the wall opening outside. It was probably a warder's 
box, but that the warder should be thus left outside is 
strange. In an ancient tale in the Leahhar na h-TJidhre, a 
MS. of the eleventh century, is mention of a watchman 
thus keeping guard outside, when a giant approaches and 
throws the watchman over the wall into the enclosure. 

A good many chieftains in Ireland gave up their casheh 
or duns to the saints, and these converted them, without 
difficulty, into monasteries. Bede describes the cashel of 
St. Cuthbert at Lindisf arn thus : — " He had there, built for 
himself, with the assistance of the brethren, a small 
dwelling with a trench about it, and the necessary cells, 
and an oratory . . . where he had served God in 
solitude many years; the mound that encompassed his 
habitation being very high, he could see from thence 
nothing but heaven, to which he ardently aspired."' 
And again, " It was built of sods and stones so large that 
four men could hardly lift them, and it was nearly 
circular, and the wall inside was higher than outside.'" 

The Irish ecclesiastical casheh were always as nearly as 
might be 140 feet in diameter, in accordance with the 

^ Hist, Eccl.f cxxviii. ^ Vit. S. Cuthberti, c. xix. 


measurement said to have been adopted by St. Patrick for 
the monasteries built under his direction at Ferta. 

According to Miss Stokes, it is always easy for an 
experienced eye to distinguish between the ecclesiastical 
and the military cashels in Ireland. 

Whether, in Wales, there were any conversions of 
stone forts into monastic settlements I do not know. In 
Cornwall there must have been something of this sort. 
St. Denys is a church planted in the midst of a dinas. 
When the church was re-consecrated by one of the 
mediaeval bishops of Exeter, he dedicated it to St. Denys, 
through misconception of the original name, Landinas. 
At Hellborough, a stone caer near Camelford, is a chapel 
to St. Itha, the Bridget of Munster, on a cairn in the 
midst; and St. Petrock's at Lydford is in the midst also of 
a strongly fortified cliff castle. 

In Wales, the stone hut circles are attributed by tradi- 
tion to the Irish Gwyddels. May not the stone fortresses 
there be also due to them ? They occur in those parts of 
North and South Wales that were overrun by the Irish. 

It is greatly to be desired that Tre'rceiri, Carn Ingli, 
and Carn Goch, at least, should be thoroughly explored, to 
settle the many questions that are asked concerning these 
castles. But, unfortunately, the digging out of a camp 
is a peculiarly costly work; and for such undertakings 
money is not readily forthcoming. Nevertheless, it is to 
be hoped, that some day pick and shovel will force from 
them their story. 






Such exaggerated notions have prevailed as to the anti- 
quity of the Cymric race that it is necessary to make an 
observation as to the use of the word " early " in the title 
I have given to this paper. The period in my view covered 
by that term is the time that elapsed from the first 
emerging of our race as a separate nation or state after 
the departure of the Romans, to the Norman conquest or a 
little later. I say the emerging of our race as a separate 
nation because the tribes which joined together under 
Cunedda and his successors to resist the Teutonic invaders 
had been for many years under the rule of the Roman 
Empire. Each of them had had of course its own history, 
though very little is known about that of any of them. 
So far as I can find out no one of the tribes in the island 
called themselves Cymry. The word "Cymro" means 
compatriot, and only came into use after the legions had 
departed, and the island was left to defend itself as best it 
could. It looks as if it was employed to designate the 
Celtic tribes and kindreds who acknowledged Cunedda as 
their leader after he had conquered North Wales. If this 
be so, the Cymric kingdom is not very ancient, and it was 
only in the fifth century that the Cymry began to regard 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, at 20 
Hanover Square, on Thursday, the 23rd of February, 1899; Chair- 
man, Sir John T. D. Llewelyn, Bart., M.P. 


themselves as one people. I therefore feel justified in 
applying the word "early" to the life in Cymru from say the 
fifth to the eleventh century. 

Now it so happens that there is ample material of 
trustworthy character for the construction of a picture of 
life in Wales during these centuries. The two principal 
sources of information are the Ancient Laws and Cus- 
toms of WaleSy published under the editorship of Aneurin 
Owen, under the auspices of the Government, in 1841, 
and the works of Giraldus Cambrensis. 

Of the legal treatises the most helpful are the so-called 
three codes (supposed to have been in use iil Gwynedd 
Deheubarth and Gwent respectively) and the Latin ver- 
sions. All these books derive their origin from a tenth 
century compilation which was known as " hen lyfr y Ty 
Gwyn," in which the laws were set down in writing at, or 
as a result of, an assembly convened by Howel Dda, who 
was king of a large part of Cymru for many years 
(907 — 950). From them it is possible to give an outline 
of the Cymric legal system. As to the works of Giraldus 
I speak below. It will be observed that both these sources 
are comparatively late ; but in the times with which we 
are dealing laws, customs, and habits of life changed only 
very slowly. The general complexion and leading features 
of Welsh society and character were much the same in the 
sixth as in the tenth, and in the tenth as in the twelfth 
century. Progress there was ; but not progress at such a 
rate as to involve any essential or revolutionary change. 

I propose first to sketch briefly the political and legal 
organisation of the Cymry ; and next to give some account 
of their way of life and their national characteristics. I 
will commence with the ancient divisions of Cymric land. 

Cymru was divided into districts called cantrefs and 
cymwds. The exact significance of the cantref it is very 


diftcult to determine, for in the laws of Hywel Dda it is 
the cymwd which is the unit of organisation. In the 
time of Hywel the boundaries of the cantrefs and cymwds 
were evidently known and settled for practical purposes. 
For the purposes of government from day to day the 
cymwd is the area on which one must fix one's eye. The 
cantrefy as it then existed, was in all probability a district 
over which a lord {arglwydd)^ appointed by the king of the 
country [gwlad) of which it formed part, ruled with a set 
of officers whose rights and duties corresponded with those 
of the king. The lord of a cantref or cymwd must not 
be confounded with another kind of chieftain, the head of 
a kindred (cenedl)y with whom the laws make us acquainted. 
The lord might, of course, be a penkenedl in reference to 
his own kindred, but his position as arglwydd was due, as 
it would seem, to his appointment by the king of, or the 
royal kindred ruling over, the country in which the 
cantref or cymwd was situate. Sometimes several cantrefs 
were combined under one lord, who called himself tywysog 
(prince) or hrenin (king), but in any case, if we may judge 
from the laws, each cymwd and cantref maintained its 
separate organisation. The lord delegated to certain 
officers the discharge of some of his functions. In every 
cymwd there was a maer (in the Latin text, jproepositiLs) and 
a canghellor (in the Latin text, cancellarius) , discharging 
prescribed governmental duties, and in each cymwd a court 
was held by them with the aid of other officers. 

As might have been expected, the Codes disclose com- 
munities containing different classes of person, or castes. 
Speaking broadly, braint (status) depended on birth. The 
primary distinction is between tribesmen and non-tribes- 
men, between men of Cymric and those of non-Cymric 
blood. The Cymry themselves were divided into : (1) a 
royal class consisting of men belonging to families or 


kindreds (cenedloedd) of kingly or princely braint (status) 
who had over divers areas of Cymru special rights ; (2) a 
noble class called in the codes sometimes uchelwyr (literally^ 
"high-men"), sometimes breyr, sometimes gwyrda, and in 
the Latin versions nohiliores and optimati ; and (3) innate 
tribesmen styled boneddigion (gentlemen). 

Below the tribesmen in the scale were unfree per- 
sons denominated taeogion or eilltion (in Latin, nativi or 
villani), corresponding roughly to the villeins of English 
law. Lowest of all was a class of menial or domestic 
slaves (caethion). 

But quite apart from these — the primary classes con- 
templated — forming the legal organisation, the laws deal 
with strangers residing temporarily in or settling within 
the limits of a Cymric area. Such strangers were called 
alltudioriy and though there was some similarity in the 
position of the two classes, they must not be confounded 
with the eilltion. 

The degree of the alltud in his own country made no 
necessary difiPerence to his position in the Cymric system. 
If a Mercian, whether noble or non-noble, settled in 
Gwynedd, he was in either case an alltud. For the in- 
dividual, the line that separated him and the Cymro could 
not originally be passed.^ But there is evidence to show 
that, in regard to South Wales, the residence in Cymru of 
an alltud and his descendants continued till the ninth 
generation conferred Cymric status upon the family ; and 
also that intermarriage with innate Cymruesau generation 
after generation made the descendants of an alltud innate 
Cymry in the fourth generation. Late texts give also 
examples of artificial methods of securing Cymric kinship. 

^ It would seem, however, that if the king conferred ofl&ce on him, 
he assumed the braint (status, privilege) attaching to it. 


e.g., by joining a kindred in the work of avenging the 
death of a kinsman. 

The Cymry of full blood deemed themselves descended 
from a common ancestor; but they were divided into 
numerous kindreds, each of which formed a kind of 
privileged oligarchy, but subordinate to the kindreds of 
royal status. 

The kindred (cenedl) was an organised and self-govern- 
ing unit, having at its head a penkenedl (chief of the 
kindred). The Welsh cenedl comprised the descendants 
of a common ancestor to the ninth degree of descent. The 
penkenedl must not be either a maer or canghellor of the 
king, but an uchelwr of the country ; and his status must 
not be acquired by maternity. He had to pay a tribute 
yearly to the arglwydd or higher chieftain. He must be 
an efficient man, being the eldest of the efficient men of 
the kindred, and being the chief of a household (penteuluj^ 
or a man with a wife and children by legitimate marriage. 
He was assisted by three other officers, the representative 
{teishan teulu) whose duty was to mediate in Court and 
assembly, and in combat within the tribe, and to act for 
the kindred in every foreign affair; the avenger {dialwr), 
who led the kindred to battle, and pursued evil doers, 
brought them before the Court, and punished them accord- 
ing to its sentence; the avoucher (arddelwr), who seemingly 
entered into bonds and made warranty on behalf of the 

Under the penkenedl were grouped the chiefs of house- 
hold belonging to the kindred, and every one of the 
kindred was a man and a kin to him (yn wr ac yn gar iddo) . 

In the light of these legal rules we are able to form a 
fairly clear notion of the original Cymric cenedl. Con- 
sidered at any one moment in the abstract, it consisted of 
a group of blood relations descended from a common 


ancestor. Observed in more concrete fashion, it was an 
aggregate of families residing in separate homesteads, at 
the head of each of which was a penteulu (chief of the 
household). It was a self-governing unit under the chief- 
tainship of the penkenedlj assisted by the officers and for 
some purposes by a council of elders. 

There seems to have been some kind of court for 
redressing wrongs done by members of one household to 
members of another household within the cenedl j but the 
discipline of each household was maintained by its penteulu 
(chief of the household) . The household in its structure 
resembled the '^patriarchal family" under sl patria potestas 
more nearly than the ^' joint family" of some systems, with 
its joint ownership under a chief who is only primas inter 
pares} The sanctity of each hearth was respected, and 
each penteulu had a right of nawdd (protection) within 
defined limits, which varied according to his status. 

It should be noticed that according to the fundamental 
ideas of this system the cenedl was not a rigid or final 
corporation or entity, formed once for all ; the cenedl was 
an ever-changing organism ; every penteulu was a possible 
founder of a complete cenedl. As Mr. Seebohm says, the 
tribal system was " always forging new links in an endless 
chain, and the links of kindred always overlapped one 
another."^ Furthermore^ it should be remarked that the 
kindreds, the chiefs of which were uchelwyr, were subordi- 
nate, in the complete structure of Cymric society, to 
kindreds built up in analogous fashion of the privileged 
or royal status, the members of which in theory could trace 
their descent from Cunedda the gwledig. 

Such being, so far as we may infer it with some con- 
fidence from these laws, the general structure of the 

^ Seebohm, Tribal System, p. 95. 2 Ji^id.j p. 85. 


Cymric cenedl, we observe that the system (except, perhaps, 
so far as the theory of tir gwelyawg is an essential part of 
it) has no necessary connection with any particular area. 
It seems, indeed, as well adapted for a nomadic as for a 
settled race, and is a personal rather than a territorial 
organisation. But it is evident the final settlement of the 
kindreds in a given territory, even if that territory were 
unoccupied, would lead to gradual modifications of custom, 
and the alterations would come more speedily when the 
tribe or tribes to which the kindreds belonged conquered 
and settled upon land already in the possession of men of 
other races who were not extirpated, but placed in an 
inferior position by the victorious immigrants. This pro- 
bability is confirmed by the laws of Howel. As we have 
seen, when the laws were set down in writing, the Cymry 
had been settled in Wales for several centuries, and the 
codes show that great changes must have taken place in 
the legal system. Many of the privileges and functions 
formerly appertaining to the penhenedl have come to belong 
to the arglwydd (lord) of the cymwd. There had arisen a 
court of the cymwd regulated by a maer and canghellor 
(officers appointed by an arglwydd or the king or prince 
above him) ; the canghellor had the right to appoint a 
rhingyll (the summoner of the court — seemingly a registrar 
or clerk) . The two chief officers superintended the eilltion 
or taeogion, and they had to see that the king's rights in 
his waste land in the cymwd were respected. The son of 
an uchelwr or innate honeddig at fourteen became the man 
of the arglwydd of the cymwd, and at twenty-one received 
land from him in consideration of military service. In 
South Wales the uchelwyr of the cymwd were judges in its 
court.^ The chiefs of household had become practically 

^ In Gwynedd and Powis, it is said, in the Dimetian code, the king 
placed five oflBlcers in each court — a maer, canghellor , rhingyll (sum- 


landowners, as against all the world, except members of 
the household. The rights of the chief of household to 
his tyddyn, and the lands in the occupation of himself and 
other members of his household were termed his gwely 
(literally, ^^bed or couch''), and on his death the family 
land was divided between his descendants.^ So that it 
seems safe to say that the cymwd approximated to the 
manor or lordship of English law (though its structure in 
the tenth century appears to have been a natural develop- 
ment), and not to an imitation of other systems ; and that 
the relations of the king to the arglwydd% and of the latter 
• to the men of the cymwdy were tending to become of a 
feudal character. 

But though the cenedl was by the time of Howel to some 
extent disintegrated, and the general organisation of 
Cymric society had assumed a territorial aspect, it still 
played an important part in the legal system and was 
recognised for certain purposes. Now we may here men- 
tion that within the cenedl (i.e., kindred to the ninth 
degree from the common ancestor), smaller groups of 
kinsmen were looked upon as what we may caU, for want 
of a bettei* term, legal entities. These were groups of the 
kindred to the fourth and the seventh degrees of descent 

moner), a priest to write pleadings, and one judge by virtue of olGSce ; 
and four like the preceding in each court in South Wales, and many 
judges, that is, every owner of land, as they were before the time of 
Howel the Good, by privilege of land without oflBlce. {Anc. Laws, 
i, 405.) 

^ There might be several tyddynau (homesteads) on the land occupied 
by a penteulu and his family. They seem to have had grazing rights 
over sometimes several and distant districts. The descendants of 
the penteulu were, during his life, in a subordinate position as to land. 
They had rights of maintenance, and were capable of owning da 
(cattle or moveable property), and they had rights of grazing cattle 
in the common herd and of co-oration with the other members of the 
gwely. (Seebohm, Tribal System, p. 91.) 


from a common ancestor. The first group included a given 
person, his sons, his grandsons, and his great-children. 
This group formed the unit within which succession to 
land of the gwely of the given person could take place 
according to certain rules. It was also the group of kins- 
men upon which joint responsibility for personal injuries 
short of homicide rested ; or, in other words, if a man did 
a wrong to another which came within the definition of 
saraad (literally, " insult "), his kinsmen, as far as second 
cousins, were jointly liable with him for the payment of 
the prescribed compensation in cattle or money.^ It also 
seems that the group was responsible for the marriage of 

Lastly, there was no re-division of the ancestor's gwely 
after the second cousins had divided it, but the members 
of the group were still liable to jointly warrant their 
common title to their respective shares.** 

The functions of the group of kindred extending to the 
seventh degree of descent can only be properly understood 
after an examination of the law relating to homicide 
between kindreds on which we cannot enter here. 

I have now described very imperfectly, but as well as I 
can in a small compass, the chief things to be noticed 
about the somewhat primitive political and judicial edifice 
of the Cymry. To go further into the legal rules would be 

^ Ano. LawSj i, pp. 231 and 703. 

* It seems to have formed for this purpose a kind of family council. 
If they gave a daughter of one within the circle to an alltud, and her 
sons committed a wrong for which saraad was payable, the group 
became liable (Anc. Laws, i, pp. 208 — 212). Mr. Seebohm aptly refers 
to the tale of "Kilhwch and Olwen" in the Malnnogion. When 
Yspaddaden Penkawr is asked to give his daughter in marriage, he 
answered, " Her four great-grandmothers and her four great-grand- 
fathers are yet alive ; it is needful that I take counsel of them." 

^ Ano, Laws, ii, 6ö7 ; and see i, pp. 208 — 10. 



tedious, and could not be accomplished with any profit 
in the space at my command. 

The picture of the social and domestic life of the 
Welsh in the days of their independence afforded by 
their law-books, can to some extent be filled in by means 
of the information handed down to us in the works of a 
celebrated Welshman of the twelfth century. Grerald de 
Barri (usually called Giraldus Cambrensis) was bom in 
1147 in the castle of Manorbier, which still stands on the 
rocks of the South Pembrokeshire coast. He came of a 
Welsh family which had a Norman strain, and his grand- 
mother was the Nest — the ^^ Helen of Wales '^ — who had 
been the mistress of Henry 1, and afterwards wife of 
William de Londres, lord of Pembroke. His father, 
William de Barri, and other members of his family, had 
joined in warfare in Ireland. We must not linger over 
the details of his life or of his persistent struggle to 
secure for St. David's archiepiscopal status, or in other 
words the independence of the Welsh Church. In that 
effort he failed, but he has left for us valuable books, of 
which the most relevant for our present purpose are the 
Itinerarium Gambrice and the Descriptio Gambrice.^ 

In 1188 Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, journeyed 
through Wales to preach a crusade. He was accompanied 
by Giraldus, who recorded their experiences in the Itinerary. 
The second work is, as its name implies, a description of 

' The works of Giraldus are to be found in the Rolls series, vols, i, 
ii, iii, iv (ed. by Professor Brewer), vols, v, vi, vii (ed. by the Rev. J. 
F. Dymock). The Topography and History of the Conquest of Ireland 
(translated by Thomas Forester), and the Itinerary through Wales, 
and the Description of Wales (translated by Sir R. Colt Hoare, Bart.) 
are published in vol. vii, Bohn's Antiquarian Library (ed. by Thomas 
Wright, F.S.A.). For his life, see Diet. Nat. Biog., sub nom.; the 
introduction to vol. i in the Rolls series ; and Gerald the Welshman, 
by Henry Owen, B.C.L., F.S.A, 


the country and the people. Notwithstanding some attempt 
at fine writing which may have led to undue emphasis on 
particular points, we have no doubt that in these books we 
have a true record of the characteristics of the mediaeval 
Cymry from the pen of an able and honest observer. 
These and the laws being our principal authorities, we find 
that the condition of society in Wales was removed by very 
many degrees from a barbaric or nomadic stage, but it was 
backward as compared with the south-eastern Britain of 
that time. It may be that the economic progress of the 
' scanty population of Wales had been checked by the war 
with Harold, the collapse of GrufEudd ab Llewelyn's power, 
and the subsequent course of events. Gerald deals with a 
people who^ had sustained many reverses, and who had 
been driven from the most fertile portions of their country 
by bands of Norman adventurers; and it is obviously 
likely that these things told for a time against any great 
social advance, though it may be noted as a curious fact 
that it was in the eleventh century that modern Welsh 
poetry has its beginning, and that in that region of culture 
contact, whether friendly or inimical, with the Norman 
lords, it had a stimulating effect. Neither Howel Dda nor 
Gruffydd ab Llewelyn, the only two chieftains of the 
Cymry who, after Ehodri Mawr, had played any really 
considerable part in the affairs of the island, were cele- 
brated by contemporary bards whose works have come 
down to our time; but from the end of the eleventh 
century we find many poems devoted to the praise (often 
in extravagant language) of princes, some of whom were 
hardly of a position higher than that of a petty lord- 

In the centuries with which we are dealing Wales 
presented a physical aspect very different from that* which 

it does to-day. The greater part was waste land on which 



the foot of man rarely trod, mere boulder-strewn moor- 
land, or boggy tracts; and large portions of the estates 
now divided into farm holdings and highly cultivated were 
covered with trees that have disappeared. The roads (if 
we exclude the few which seem to derive their origin from 
the time of Roman occupation) were mere mountain tracks. 
There were practically no enclosures apart from the 
mounds or wooden fences which were made around the 
houses of the more important families.^ 

When Giraldus wrote, towns were beginning to arise 
under the shelter of some of the Norman castles, but there 
were no truly Cymric towns. Caerleon on Usk was in 
ruins, and Chester was in Norman hands." The social and 
domestic life of the Welsh centred round the timber-built 
houses of the kings, princes, lords or uchelwyr^ which were 
scattered in the valleys and the lower slopes of the hills. * 

^ Bice Merrick, in his Books of Olamorganshire Antiquities (1578), 
referring to the Vale of Glamorgan, says it was " a champyon and 
open country without great store of inclosures," and that the old 
men reported that " their íFore-fathers told them that great part of 
th' enclosures was made in their daies." {Cambrian Register (1796), 
pp. 96 — 8 ; Report of the Welsh Land Commission (Lond. 1896), p. 663.) 

^ Giraldus says, " this city (Caerleon) was of undoubted antiquity 
and handsomely built of masonry, with courses of bricks, by the 
Romans. Many vestiges of its former splendour may still be seen ; 
immense palaces formerly ornamented with gilded roofs in imitation 
of Roman magnificence, inasmuch as they were first raised by Roman 
princes, and embellished with splendid buildings ; a tower of prodigious 
size, remarkable hot baths, relics of temples, and theatres all inclosed 
within fine walls, part of .which remain standing," etc. (Desc, i, c. 5). 
The castle of Cardiff was surrounded by high walls, and Giraldus 
refers to the city as containing many soldiers. The Bruty in one of 
its versions, says, under the year 1080, " the building of Cardiff began." 
This is not in the Brut reproduced in the Oxford series. It occurs iti 
the MS» called D, by Ab Ithel (see preface to Rolls ed., p. xlvi). The 
MS. is in the B. M. Cottonian collection, marked " Cleopatra, B. v.** 
Whether this entry means that the building of Cardiff castle, or that 


Except, perhaps, in some of the villein-trefs, there were 
no villages or clusters of dweUing-houses close adjoining 
one another, though the principal hall of men of higher 
position had accessory buildings. The dwellings of some 
families were duplicated ; in the summer they lived in a 
house on the higher part of their property called the 
havod-ty (literally, "summer-house"), and in winter 
returned to the hendref (literally, " the old stead "), that 
is, the principal residence set up in more sheltered places 

One of the most interesting texts of this Book of the 
Law is that on Briodolion Leoedd (appropriate places). It 
is what in modem times we should call a "table of pre- 
cedence", and though nominally it only applies to the 
arrangement of the household at the meals in the king's 
hall, it really determines and indicates the order of the 
different officers. The arrangement cannot be understood 
without stating the character of the house of a Welsh 
chieftain. Fortunately Giraldus Cambrensis has given us 
a fairly minute description of the typical Welsh house of 
his time, and further material for its reconstruction is also 
furnished by the laws we are considering, so that we can 
ascertain what it was like in the later period of the tribal 
system. The evidence of these two authorities has been 
summarised by Mr. Seebohm, and we cannot do better 
than quote his description ^ : " The tribal house was built 

of the town, began, the date is too early. This MS. D. is of the 
fifteenth century. Giraldus calls Carmarthen an "ancient city", 
and notices that it was strongly inclosed with walls of bricks, part 
of which were still standing {Desc. i, c. 10). It is only with the 
building of the stone castle that Carmarthen begins to be noticed 
in authentic history, at any rate, after Roman times. Dinevwr, 
higher up the Towy, was the seat of the South Welsh princes. 
^ See English Village Connmunity^ pp. 239-40 ; Report^ p. 691. 


of trees newly cut from the forest. A long straight pole 
is selected for the roof-tree. Six well-grown trees with 
suitable branches, apparently reaching over to meet one 
another, and of about the, same size as the roof -tree, are 
stuck upright in the ground at even distances in two 
parallel rows^ three in each row. Their extremities bend- 
ing over make a Gothic arch, and crossing one another at 
the top each pair makes a fork, upon which the roof -tree 
is fixed. These trees supporting the roof -tree are called 
gavaels^ forks, or columns, and they form the nave of the 
tribal house. Then, at some distance back from these 
rows of columns or forks, low walls of stakes and wattle 
shut in the aisles of the house, and over all is the roof of 
branches and rough thatch, while at the aisles behind the 
pillars are placed beds of rushes, called gwely (lectijy on 
which the inmates sleep. The footboards of the beds 
between the columns form their seats in the daytime. 
The fire is lighted on an open hearth in the centre of the 
nave between the two middle columns."^ This tribal house 
was the living and the sleeping-place of the household. 
The kitchen and buildings for cattle and horses were 
separate and detached, atid it seems that, if not the whole 
set of buildings, yet the set of buildings with more or less 
completeness was duplicated for summer purposes on the 
higher grazing grounds. The house of persons of smaller 
importance was not, of course, so extensive. Giraldus 
describes the ordinary house as circular, with the fireplace 
in the centre and beds of rushes all round it, on which the 
inmates slept with their feet towards the fire.^ 

In the king^s house screens extending from each middle 

^ See also Arch. Camh.y 3rd Ser., vol. iv (1858), p. 195 ; and 4th Ser., 
vol. X (1893), p. 172. 

^ Report of Welsh Land Commission (Lond. 1896), p. 692. Desc, i, 
X, and xvii. 


pillar to the side walls divided the hall into an upper and 
a lower part ; the former part appears to have been raised 
so as to form a dais, upon which the king and nine of his 
officers were seated, while in the other part four officers 
and the rest of the household were placed.^ The text is 
curious and deserves attention : — 

" There are fourteen persons who sit on chairs in the 
palace ; four of them in the lower portion and ten in the 
upper portion. The first is the king ; he is to sit next the 
screen ; next to him the canghellor ; then the oab ; then the 
edling ; then the chief falconer ; the foot-holder on the 
side opposite the king's dish ; and the mediciner at the 
base of the pillar opposite to him on the other side of the 
fire. Next to the other screen, the priest of the household, 
to bless the food and chaunt the Pater ; the silentiary is to 
strike the pillar above his head ; next to him the judge of 
the Court; next to him the chaired bard; the smith of 
the Court on the end of the bench below the priest. The 
chief of the' household is to sit at the lower end of the 
hall with his left hand to the front door, and those he may 
choose of the household with him; and the rest on the 
other side of the door. The bard of the household is to 
sit on one hand of the chief of the household ; the chief 
groom next to the king, separated by the screen ; and the 
chief huntsman next to the priest of the household, 
separated by the screen."^ 

These were the rules for Gwynedd ; in the Dimetian 
code, as we have it, there is no such elaborate statement, 
though there is a chapter on appropriate places applying 
to the ceremony at the three principal festivals, Chistmas, 
Easter, and Whitsuntide. 

^ See Ancient Laws, vol. i, p. 11, note. 
* Ven, Code, i, c. 6 ; Ancient Laios, i, p. 11. 


The broad conclusion we draw from the sources we have 
mentioned is that in the twelfth century, and the preceding 
centuries, the Cymry were a wariike pastoral people who 
had been settled on their lands for centuries, but who had 
made only slight progress in agriculture and the other 
practical arts, and who had advanced more quickly in 
regard to intellectual exercises, poetry, and music, than in 
regard to material prosperity and higher morality. 

We have only space to mention a few details concerning 
them from which we think this generalisation will appear 
to be true. The principal crops referred to in the laws and 
Giraldus's works are wheat, barley, and oats. The plough, 
the scythe, and other farming implements (which were, 
however, of primitive construction) are mentioned. The 
ridges were generally ploughed straight upward, and the 
Commissioners found their form still visible in some 
places.^ They also saw indications that slopes and even 
summits of hills, which are not now and have not been for 
a very long period arable land, had at some former time 
been ploughed. 

In the laws yokes of four different lengths are men- 
tioned : — The ber-iau, or short yoke of three feet, for two 
oxen ; the /mei-iau, or field yoke of six feet, for four oxen ; 
the ceseiUiau, or auxiliary yoke of nine feet, for six oxen ; 
and the hir-iauy or long yoke of twelve feet, for eight 
oxen.'^ The Welsh farmer seldom, however, yoked less 
than four oxen to the plough. The driver walked back- 
ward, and instead of a small sickle in mowinsf he made use 
of a moderate sized piece of iron formed like a knife, with 
two pieces of wood fixed loosely and flexibly to the head.^ 

^ Report of the Welsh Land Commissioriy p. 657. 

^ The measurements are in the English standard. Owen, in his 
Welsh Dictionaiy, says the Welsh used four sorts of yoke until about 

^ Giraldus Cambrensis, Desc. Catnb.y book i, c. 17. 


In the month of March only the soil was once ploughed 
for oats, and again in the summer a third time, and in the 
winter for wheat. 

Giraldus's remarks seem, for the most part, to apply to 
the Cymry proper, though there is a good deal to show 
that by his time there was considerable admixture of 
classes or races. 

Hospitality and liberality were among the first of their 
virtues. The house of the Cymro was common to all. 
The traveller was not offered, nor did he beg, entertain- 
ment. He simply delivered up his arms ; he was then 
under the nawdd (peace) of the penteulu (head of the 
household). Water was brought to him, and if he suffered 
his feet to be washed, he became a guest of the house ; if 
he refused water he was understood to be simply asking 
for morning refreshment and not lodging for the night. 
Strangers arriving early were entertained by the conver- 
sation of the young women of the household and the music 
of harps. The principal meal was served in the evening. 
It varied according to the number and dignity of the 
persons assembled and the degrees of the wealth of different 
households. In any case it was a simple repast; there 
were no tables, no cloths, no napkins; the guests were 
^eated in messes of three ; all the dishes were at once set 
before them in large platters on rushes or grass spread on 
the floor. The food consisted of milk, cheese, butter, 
meat plainly cooked. " The kitchen did not supply many 
dishes nor high-seasoned incitements to eating." The 
bread was served as a thin and broad cake, fresh baked 
every day;^ and broth with chopped up meat in it was 
sometimes added. The family waited on the guests, and 

^ Giraldus says it was "lagana" in the old writings. It was 
evidently like the " bake-stones " bread — bara plane or bara llech — 
of modern days. 



the host and hostess stood up until their needs were satis- 
fied. The evening was enlivened by songs and recitations 
by the bard of the household or by minstrels who in their 
wandering had joined the company, and seemingly also by 
choral singing. 

A bed made of rushes and covered with a coarse kind 
of cloth made in the country called brychan, was then 
placed along the side of the hall, and the family and 
guests lay down to sleep in common.^ The fire on the 
hearth in the centre continued to bum all night. 

Prom Giraldus we get little information as to the 
clothes of the Welsh ; he says that at all seasons they de- 
fended themselves from the cold only by a thin cloak and 
tunic ; but the laws give the worth of divers articles of 
wearing apparel, e.^., a mantle of rich dark colour; a 
town-made coat (pais) ; a home-made covering ; shirt and 
trousers ; a head-cloth ;'* robes of the king and queen, and 
of an uchelwr and his wife, etc.* 

As to their personal habits the Cymry seem to have 

^ Giraldus does not mention pillows, but in the Ven. Code, iii, c. 22, 
a legal price (gxoertK) is placed on the pillow (gohennydà) of the king 
and on that of an uchehor, thus showing they were in use. A price is 
also put on a sheet {llen^ or in the laws llenllyeyn). As late as the 
fifteenth century the English " gentry, who slept on down beds, or 
beds stuffed with rabbits' fur and other materials which passed for 
down, still went naked to their slumbers ; the poor, who slept on 
bundles of fern or on trusses of straw spread on the ground, slept in 
the dress they had worn during the day, and the cloak or cassock of 
the ploughman was his only counterpane.'' (Denton, England in the 
Fifteenth Century^ p. 206.) 

^ Griraldus says the women covered their hea^s with a large white 
veil folded together in the form of a crown. 

'^ See Ven. Code, iii, c. 22 ; but book iii was collected from books 
later than Howel's time as well as from the old book of the " White 
House." See the prefaces to it. 


been cleanly/ In the laws we have references to the bath ; 
the custom of offering water to guests has just been 
referred to. Both sexes cut their hair short — close round 
to their ears and eyes. The men shaved all their beard 
except the moustache. All paid great attention to their 
teeth, which they rendered like ivory by constantly rubbing 
them with green hazel and wiping them with a woollen 

For the Cymry proper — the leading families — the chief 
business of life was warfare. " They were entirely bred 
up to the use of arms ;" but the language of Giraldus is 
general, and according to him " all the people are trained 
to war." When "the trumpet sounds the alarm, the 
husbandman rushes as eagerly from his plough as the 
courtier from his Court." We have seen that in the laws 
of Howel it was only the tribesmen who formed the host ; 
to the eilltion only the subordinate duties of a campaign 
were entrusted ; but the words we have quoted seem to 
indicate that the settlement of the Normans in the land 
had brought about a change in the military arrangements, 
and this is confirmed by indications from other sources. 

The higher classes {nobiliores^ i.e., uchelwyr) went forth 
to battle on horseback, though they did not hesitate to 
dismount if necessary, either for marching or combat. 
The great majority of the men of the host fought on foot. 
The armour of all was so light as not to impede the quick 
movements on which they depended for success. The 
uchelvryVy and seemingly most of the foot soldiers (of 
tribal privilege) as well, wore small coats of mail, helmets, 
and sometimes greaves plated with iron. In marching 

^ The account given by Giraldus of the Cymry in this regard is very 
favourable as compared with his remarks on the barbarism of the 
Irish ( Top. Irel.f iii, c. 10). 


they often walked barefoot, but in battle array they appear 
ordinarily to have worn high shoes roughly made with 
untanned leather.^ Their chief weapons were the sword, 
the lance or spear, the battle-axe, and the bow and arrow ; 
and in the time of Giraldus the men of Gwent were 
deemed more expert in archery than those of the other 
parts of Cymru.* 

The fighting in which the Cymry excelled was of the 
guerilla kind. They did not shine much in open engage- 
ments or regular conflicts, but were skilful in harassing 
the enemy by ambuscades and nightly sallies. As a rule 
they made no determined struggle for the field of battle.' 
In their onset they were bold and rapid ; they filled the 

^ It is clear that even men of the upper class did not wear boots on 
many occasions^ even of some importance. On the morning after 
leaving the house of Strata Florida, the archbishop and Giraldus met 
one Cyneuric ab Rhys (evidently of noble descent), accompanied by 
a body of light-armed youths. Giraldus describes him thus : " This 
young man was of a fair complexion, with curled hair, tall and hand- 
some, clothed only, according to the custom of his country, with a 
thin cloak and inner garment, his legs and feet, regardless of thorns 
and thistles, were left bare ; a man not adorned by art but by nature ; 
bearing in his presence an innate, not an acquired, dignity of man- 
ners " (Itin.j book ii, c. 4). In the laws a price is set on wadded boots 
{botessau kenhen lauc)^ shoes with thongs {eskydyen careyaitc)f and on 
buskins iguyntesseu). 

^ The Ven. Code sets a price on " a bow and twelve arrows " {bua a 
deudec 8a€t\ a spear {guaeu\ a battle-axe {are/ buyall), and on a sword 
{cledyf) rough-ground, a sword round-hilted, and a sword white-hilted 
(Anc. Laws, i, p. 305). In one passage Giraldus refers to the lances 
as long (Desc, i, c. 8), in another he mentions frequent throwing of 
darts (Besc.y ii, c. 3). The Welsh, therefore, probably had two kinds 
of spear. " A sword, and spear, and bow with twelve arrows in the 
quiver," was the traditional equipment of the head of a Cymric 
household (Anc. LaioSy ii, p. 557). 

^ Gruffudd ab Llewelyn in his Hereford campaigns against Ralph 
acted exceptionally. But he, too, avoided a pitched battle with 
Harold when the latter changed the conditions by lightly equipping 
his men. 


air with horrid shouts^ and the deep-toned clangour of 
very long trumpets ; if repulsed they were easily thrown 
into confusion, and trusted to flight for safety. But 
though defeated one day they were ever ready to resume 
the combat on the next ; they were active and hardy ; able 
to sustain hunger and cold ; not easily fatigued by war- 
like exercise, and above all not despondent in adversity. 
Giraldus sums up the matter by saying that they were 
" as easy to overcome in a single battle as difficult to 
subdue in a protracted war.'" We ought to add that it is 
probable that during the one hundred and fifty years that 
elapsed between the death of Gruffudd ab Llewelyn and 
the time at which Giraldus wrote, intercourse and fighting 
with the Normans had done much to improve the equip- 
ment and military methods of the Cymry. 

Giraldus bears warm testimony to the proficiency of the 
Cymry in the art of music. They used three instruments 
— ^the hai'p, the pipes, and the crwth. In their concerts 
they did not sing in unison but in different parts. He 
remarks that the people in the northern district of Britain, 
beyond the HumBer and on the borders of Yorkshire, made 
use of the same kind of "symphonious harmony", but 
with less variety, singing only in two parts, one murmur- 
ing in the bass, the other warbling in the acute or treble. 

Much attention was paid by them to poetry. Bards 
were important members of the community, as we know 
also from the laws. They were organised in some fashion 

^ So says Giraldus (Desc., ii, c. 3). Cf. the poem in praise of 
Llewelyn ab Madoc, ascribed to one Uywarch Llew Cad. The bard 
calls Llewelyn " commander of the men of terrible shout". Stephens's 
Literature of the Kymryy p. 63. 

^ See Besc,^ book ii, c. 3. It should be noticed, further, as an 
illustration of the character of the warfare, that, the Cymry gave no 
quarter {Desc., book ii, c. 8). 


into a kind of separate order, though we have no certain 
evidence as to the rules of their craft or guild in those 
early days/ Every considerable household had its domestic 
bard (bardd teulu). Besides the duty of entertaining by 
song he had care of any documents that concerned the 
family of his patron ; he was the preserver of the genea- 
logy of the kindred ; and often the teacher and companion 
of his chieftain's children. Whether by positive enact- 
ment or by usage the practice of making tours of the 
country arose. The bards went from house to house, 
quartering themselves on the households ; the higher grade 
of bards only went to the palaces of princes and the greater 
nobles ; the lower grades had the range of the establish- 
ments of meaner men. Extravagant pretensions as to the 
antiquity of this Cymric bardic order have been advanced; 
it has been claimed for the bards of the twelfth century 
that their organisation was a direct survival of that of the 
Druidic hierarchy ; and that they were the depositories of 
a mysterious system of religion and philosophy orally 
handed down to them from the priests of the oak, and 
thence transmitted without break to our own day. There 
is, however, no proof of any formal connection between 
the Druidic priesthood and the bardic system as it appears 
in Wales in the twelfth century. There is no certain 
evidence that Druidism had spread to that part of the 
island whence Cunedda and the ancestors of the Cymry 
came." Centuries before their settlement in Wales 
Druidism had been suppressed by the Roman government, 

^ It is traditionally believed Gruffudd ab Kjrnan, king of Gwynedd, 
made rules for the government of the bardic order, but the proof is 
not satisfactory. 

^ Mommsen denies that the Druids exercised office " in the island 
of the West," or " in the mountains of the North." Provinces of the 
Moman JSmpire, i, 185 (English translation). 


and there is nothing to show that the sacerdotal class, 
practically destroyed by Paulinus, ever regained its autho- 
rity or maintained its organisation.^ 

From the Roman conquest of Mona to the time of 
Bleddyn and Gruffydd ab Kynan over nine hundred years 
had elapsed. Christianity had for a long period been the 
only legally recognised religion, and was probably professed 
by Cunedda and his followers. It had, first in its Celtic, 
and afterwards in its Roman form, obtained a secure and 
undisputed position in the land. If to these considera- 
tions we add the facts that none of the bardic MSS. are 
older than the twelfth century, and that competent 
criticism of the bardic remains leads to the conclusion 
that this so-called Druidism was confined to the bards 
themselves, and that as an institution it was then of recent 
origin,^ we must dismiss the claims we have been dis- 
cussing as mere inventions or efforts of the imagination 
which have been ignorantly and uncritically adopted and 
developed in after times. On the other hand, it must be 
conceded that the office of domestic bard is one which is 
found in the earliest historic times among Indo-European 
nations; that there are many items of evidence which 
show an intimate connection between singers, story-tellers, 
and the like, and the priesthoods of early forms of religion ; 
and that the memory may be so cultivated that rites, 
formulae, poems, and tales may be orally handed down 
from generation to generation for an indefinite time. It 
must also be admitted that many pagan notions and 
customs survived among the people long after Christianity 
had obtained its formal hold on the community. The 

^ Mona, " the last asylum of the Celtic priesthood," was subdued 
by G. Seutonius Paulinus, in a.d. 61. {Provinces of the Roman JSmpire, 
p. 179.) 

^ See the chapter on " Bards and Bardism " in Stephens's Lit. of 
the Kymry, p. 84, 


bardic poems of later date may be the genuine echoes of 
the conceptions of the religion of a distant past, and 
contain the dim recollections of true historical events,^ 
but there is nothing in all this that need alter the opinion 
we havQ expressed that there is no proof of any formal 
connection between the bardic order in mediseval Wales 
and the Druidic system described by Caesar. However 
this may be, the genuine laws and the words of Giraldus 
give to the bards of Wales a very respectable position in 
the society of the time, and accord their profession a 
reasonable and satisfactory antiquity. 

Among the characteristics of the Welsh Giraldus notices 
their wit and pleasantry. They were fluent and bold in 
conversation ; in their rhymed songs and set speeches they 
were so subtle and ingenious that they produced " orna- 
ments of wonderful and exquisite invention, both in the 
words and sentences." They greatly esteemed noble 
birth and generous descent. All retained their genealogy 
and could readily repeat the names of their ancestors to 
the ninth generation or beyond, and when we think of the 
laws we can readily understand this to have been the case. 
They were at any rate outwardly very religious ; when one 
of them met a priest or monk he asked his blessing "with 
extended arms and bowing head"; they showed greater 
respect than other nations to churches and the clergy, to 
relics, bells, holy books, and the cross. 

So far our account gives a pleasant view of the Welsh 
people in these mediaeval times, but there is a darker side 
to Giraldus's picture. In language which recalls in some 
degree the rhetoric of Gildas, he points out very grave 

^ See Matthew Arnold's Essay on the Study of Celtic Literature 
(Lond., 1867); Skene's Frntr Ancient Books of Wales (Edin., 1868, 
2 vols.) 


blemishes in the character and mode of life of the Cymry. 
He describes them as wanting in respect to oaths, faith, 
and truth ; as so indifferent to the covenant of faith that 
they went through the ceremony of holding forth the right 
hand on trifling occasions and to emphasise mere ordinary 
assertions; and, worse still, as not scrupling to take false 
oaths in legal causes. He says they habitually committed 
acts of plunder, theft, and robbery, not only against 
foreigners but against their own countrymen. They were 
addicted to trespassing and the removal of landmarks, and 
there were continual disputes between brothers. They 
were immoderate in their love of food and intoxicating 
drinks. Though the language of Giraldus is strong, and 
his strictures are severe, there can be no doubt that there 
is substantial truth in what he says, but by way of qualifi- 
cation it must be pointed out that he was a stem and 
imperious ecclesiastic, that he was looking at the condition 
of things from the point of view of the Norman-English 
government, so far as civil matters were concerned, and 
that he completely ignores the injustice that had been 
done by the conquest of the greater part of the south by 
Norman adventurers. What he meant by false swearing 
was almost a necessary result of a legal system which 
made an oath an incident of ordinary transactions, and 
which in judicial proceedings multiplied the number of 
compurgators to an unusual degree. Especial allowance 
must be made for this kind of perjury in the case of men 
who regarded the tie of blood as the strongest social bond, 
and in a time when a trial was not an inquiry into issues 
of fact to be decided by witnesses in our modem sense, but 
one depending on a complicated method of swearing and 
counter-swearing by rheithwyr, who came to regard them- 
selves not as being charged with the duty of saying what 
they had actually seen or heard, but of standing by a 



kinsman in trouble. So much^ too, may be urged in ex- 
tenuation of their trespassing and plundering. For in the 
early years of the conquest, at any rate, the men of the 
Norman lord were quite as ready to seize any cattle they 
could lay hands on as any Cymric youths; and many 
violent acts of the Welcherie were justifiable, because the 
cattle they carried off in their raids were looked on as 
being taken in lieu of those of which they had been de- 
spoiled. Their trespasses on and "ambitious seizures" 
of land in the occupation of invaders need from an im- 
partial standpoint no justification; but the continued 
litigation about land among themselves, and the habits of 
forcible entry (as we should say) by one relative as against 
another, though easy to be explained as the consequence 
of the rules concerning succession to tir gwelyawg^ must be 
condemned as a proof of those serious defects in the 
typical Cymric character, of which such striking illustra- 
tion is afforded by the failure of the nation to effect any 
stable political combination. 

But when every allowance is made, the Cymry proper, 
whom Giraldus describes, were a wild and turbulent race, 
dangerous neighbours, and impatient of settled control 
from any quarter,^ a set of men very unlike the singularly 
law-abiding Welsh people of to-day."* They were a quick 
impulsive race, wanting in moderation, indulging in 
extremes of conduct, and we readily follow Griraldus when, 
in ending his first book, he says that "this nation is 

^ Read the adventures of Owain ab Cadwgan, in the Brutf s. a. 
1106, and in following entries. See also Wynne's History of the 
Gwydyr Family^ which shows how disorderly were the habits of a 
later day. 

^ The comparative absence of crime in the distinctively Welsh 
counties has been noticeable for many years, and is often a topic of 
comment by judges of assize and chairmen of quarter sessions. 


earnest in all its pursuits, and neither worse men than the 
bad, nor better than the good, can be met with." 


^ This paper (much expanded and somewhat altered) forms one of 
the chapters in a book entitled The Welsh People written by 
Principal Rhys and myself, about to be published by Mr. Fisher 
Unwin. — D. B. J. 

E 2 





Professor W. LEWIS JONES, M.A. 

*' Bet y marchy bet y guythur. 
Bet y giigaun cletyfrut. 
Anoeth hid bet y arthurr 

" A GRAVE for March, a grave for Gwythur, a grave for 
Gwgawn of the ruddy sword ; not wise (the thought) a grave 
for Arthur,'" or as Matthew Arnold freely translates it in a 
well-known passage in his Study of Celtic Literature^ " Un- 
known is the grave of Arthur." Would, indeed, that this 
were all that is unknown and unknowable of the storied 
British king ! But he comes upon the scene even as he 
disappears from it — a shadowy apparition, clothed in the 
mist of legend, stalking athwart the path of history to 
distract and lead astray the sober chronicler, and to beckon 
the romancer and the poet to boundless realms of enchant- 
ment and adventurous quest. A Melchisedec of profane 
history, he has "neither beginning of days, nor end of 
life." Neither date nor place of birth can be assigned to 
him any more than a place of burial; and it is left to 

* Read before the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion at 20, 
Hanover Square, on Wednesday, the 8th of March, 1899; Chairman, 
Mr. Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. 

* This is the translation given by Professor Rhys, Arthurian Legend, 
p. 19. It is worth noting that in this quotation from an undoubted 
twelfth century text, the Black Book of Carmarthen, we get one of the 
earliest literary references to the tradition as to Arthur's " return", 
and it conclusively proves that this tradition existed in Wales — a fact 
which Zimmer and others question — as early at least as the twelfth 


conjecture alone to locate that court where knights, only 
less famous than himself, sought his benison and behest. 
But all this uncertainty has but served to enhance the 
attraction which he had, and has, for makers and students 
of literature ; and the immense mass of Arthurian litera- 
ture extant to-day — romances, poems, critical studies — 
may well make the most omnivorous reader quail before 
its solid bulk. The Arthurian legend has, of late especi- 
ally, been the subject of so much philological, ethnological 
and mythological dissertation that one is tempted to say, 
in contemplating this huge accumulation of critical detail, 
that here at last is "the grave of Arthur". But when we 
turn to the poets, even to such extreme modernisers of the 
story as Tennyson, we feel that the spell continues to work, 
and are constrained still to follow the pale but deathless 
figure of the Celtic king as he moves among the shades of 
his forlorn fairyland. 

To students of literature, pure and simple, the question 
of paramount interest in connection with Arthur is — ^Who 
made him for literary purposes the attractive and potent 
personality he is ? Who drew, so to speak, the first full- 
length literary portrait of him, and gave to poets and 
romancers without number something tangible and sub- 
stantial to draw from, to enlarge, and to idealise ? Liter- 
ary histories generally tell us that the Arthur of romance 
was introduced to literature by Geoffrey of Monmouth. 
It matters little whether Geoffrey borrowed from a book that 
has been lost, or utilised popular traditions, or drew mainly 
upon his own imagination, — ^to him belongs the credit of 
what we may call the first literary exploitation of Arthur. 
The appearance of the Historia Regum Britanniae marks a 
real epoch in the history of medieval literature. Arthurian 
romance would probably have grown and flourished had 
Geoffrey's "History" never been written. There were 


plenty of other channels through which Celtic traditions 
might have found their way into the European literature 
of romance; and as a matter of fact, Geoffrey's book 
exercised but little influence upon the matter of the 
Arthurian romances proper.^ Many of the most pic- 
turesque and significant features of the full-grown legend 
are not even faintly suggested by GeofiPrey. The Eound 
Table, Lancelot, the Grail, were unknown to him and were 
grafted upon the legend from other sources. But the im- 

^ M. Gaston Paris^ writes in the Histoire Littéraire de la France, 
XXX, p. 5: ^^Rien ne serait moins juste d'ailleurs que de regarder, 
ainsi qu'on le faisait volontiers autrefois, VHistoria regum Britanniae 
comme la source des romans du cycle d'Arthur^ A très peu d' excep- 
tions près (encore ne concement-elles guère que les moins anciens des 
romans en prose), les compositions en langue vulgaire n'ont, au con- 
traire, aucun rapport avec I'ouvrage de Gaufrei, bien qu'il ait de très 
bonne heure et à plusieurs reprises été traduit en français. II suffit, 
pour s'en convaincre, de remarquer que toutes ces merveilleuses con- 
quetes du prétendu roi breton, qui occupent tant de place chez son 
historiographe, sont absolument inconnues aux poèmes, où nous 
voyons Arthur séjoumer toujours dans le pays de GuUes, ou tout au 
plus dans quelque autre partie de la Grande Bretagne." Vide, also, 
Professor Rhys, Arthurian Legend, p. 371. Mr. Alfred Nutt, in a 
recent publication (The Infiueruce of Celtic upon Medieval Romance, 
p. 7), writes in the same strain. ^^ It would be a mistake to assume 
that because the legend found an earlier home in historical rather 
than in imaginative literature, the romantic element is necessarily 
the younger of the two. It can, on the contrary, be proved that the 
romantic form must have been popular in part of France for at least 
half a century previous to Geoffrey's History." Mr. Nutt, however, 
holds that the association in Geoffrey's book of Arthurian fable with 
what purported to be authentic history " had much to do with the 
vast and sudden outburst of the legend." " There can be little 
doubt," he continues (p. 13), "but that the Brutus element in 
Geoffrey's History, the story of the Trojan and Roman descent of the 
British, which seems to us so tedious and so ridiculous, contributed 
very greatly to its popularity and influence, and that the purely 
romantic aspects of the legend derived from their association with 
this pseudo-history a status and weight they would otherwise have 


mediate vogue and popularity of Arthurian romance in the 
twelfth and the thirteenth centuries were due primarily to 
the impulse given by his strange Latin history. It was 
he who showed the literary possibilities of " the matter of 
Britain." He it was who opened out the prospect and 
gave poets and professed romancers their chance. He is, 
besides, the father of a long line of poets and chroniclers. 
In English literature, at least, no medieval work has left 
behind it so prolific a literary offspring as the History of 
the Kings of Britain. 

The materials for constructing a biography of Geoffrey 
of Monmouth are scanty in the extreme, especially as the 
" Gwentian Brut," upon which his biographers have 
hitherto mainly relied for their facts, has been proved to 
be a very untrustworthy record.^ The date of his birth is 
unknown, but it is tolerably certain that he died at 
Llandaff in the year 1155."* The first authentic record of 
him that we possess is in the foundation charter of the 

^ The late Thomas Stephens has conclusively proved ( Archceologia 
Camòrensis, Third Series, vol. iv, (1858), pp. 77, sqq.) the untnist- 
worthiness of the Gwentian Brut, which is ascribed in the Myvyrian 
Archaiology to Caradoc of Llancarvan, and is known also as the Book 
of Aberpergwm, having been copied from a MS. in the possession of 
George Williams, of Aberpergwm. Stephens sums up his conclusions 
as follows : — " 1. The book of Aberpergwm is not the Chronicle of 
Caradoc, but ought always to be cited by the former name. 2. It is 
a respectable authority for the history of Glamorgan, but not for the 
general history of Wales. 3. It abounds in mistakes, conjectures, 
and unauthorised additions ; it exhibits several anachronisms, and 
names of persons who lived in the years 1203, 1293, 1317, and 1328; 
it jvas written in or about 1555." The work is printed in the 
Myvyrian Archaiology under the title of *' Brut y Tywysogion," and 
is the second chronicle of that name in the Myvyrian. 

^ Brut y Tytoysogion, ed. by Williams (Ah Ithel), Rolls Series, 
1860. In the brief record in this Brut, Geoffrey is wrongly styled 
Bishop of Llandaff. Bishop Nicholas at that time held the see of 
I.landaff. Vide Stubbs, Hegistrum Sacrum Angltcanumf p. 46. 


Abbey of Osney, wliich was granted in 1129/ Here his 
name is appended as a witness to the charter, and is ore 
of a list headed by Walter, styled Calenius," Archdeacon 
of Oxford. From this we may infer with some confidence 
that Geoffrey was already on friendly terms with Walter, 
from whom he professes in his History to have received 
the famous "British book." The fact that his name is 
given as " Gaufridus Arthur," or " Arturus," would seem 
to indicate that his father's name was Arthur. Again, 
Henry of Huntingdon, writing in 1139 of an early copy 
(perhaps the 'first) of Geoffrey's History, which he saw 
at the abbey of Bee in Normandy, speaks of the work 

^ Dugdale, Monasticon^ vi, p. 2ol. The list of witnesses as given by 
Dugdale reads : — Testibus Waltero Archidiacono, Raero Priore, Main : 
Waltero monachis de Abbendune, Willielmo Capellano, Gaufrido, 
Arturo," etc. Sir F. Madden {Journal of Arch. Instil., 1858, p. 305), 
who compared this list with the original register in the British 
Museum (Cotton MS. Vitellius E. xv), points out that there ought 
to be no comma between " Gaufrido " and ** Arturo." 

^ It is Bale who (Scriptorum Britannie Vatalogtis, 1559) gives 
Walter the name of Calenius, and also states that he is a Welshman : 
*^Gualterus Calenius, genere quidem ex Cambria Brytannus, sed 
officio archidiaconus Oxoniensis." " Calenius " probably meant " of 
Oxford," as " Calena," in Bale's time, was a name sometimes given to 
Oxford. In 1586 Camden {Britannia, first edition, p. 139) takes 
" Calena " to mean Wallingford, and he it is who is responsible for 
Archdeacon Walter being styled by so many subsequent writers 
Walter of Wallingford. The confusion of Geoffrey's friend with 
Walter Map, who was archdeacon of Oxford in 1196, is due to Leland 
( Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis, p. 187). Vide Ward, Cata- 
logue of jRwnanceSj i, p. 218. 

Very little is known about Walter, but it appears from Geoffrey's 
own words that " he was a very learned historian " (in multis historiis 
peritissimus, xi, 1), and that he told Geoffrey many things which have 
been included in the Historia Begum Britanniae {vide the whole of 
the passage in xi, 1). M. Gaston Paris attaches much importance to 
Walter's information as one of Geoffrey's sources (Article in Bxymania, 
xii, 372, which is quoted from on another page). . 


as that of "Gaufridus Arturus.''^ These two records 
conclusively dispose of William of Newburgh's satirical 
assertion that Geoffrey had the by-name of "Arturus," 
because he had "cloaked fables about Arthur with 
the honest name of history.""^ Most of the Welsh 
versions of Geoffrey's ^Brut' give his name as " Gruflfydd 
ab Arthur " — " Grufifydd," probably, because it is the 
nearest Welsh equivalent to Geoffrey.^ In the " History " 
Geoffrey calls himself " Galfridus Monemutensis," and he 
has ever since been known as Geoffrey of Monmouth. 
What his exact connection with Monmouth was is but 
another of the many unsolved problems of his biography. 
He may have been bom there, but the habit of speak- 
ing of him, as many literary historians do, as Archdeacon 
of Monmouth, is due alike to a misreading of the ancient 
records and to ignorance of ecclesiastical history.* A very 

^ " Librum grandem Gaufridi Arturi, quern apud Beccense coeno- 
bium inveni." JSpistola ad Warinum^ printed in Chronicles of StepJien 
and Henry II (Rolls Series). In the Chronicle of Robert of Torigny, in 
which this Epistle of Henry's occurs, we find the following entry for 
the year 11Ö2: "Gaufridus Artur, qui transtulerat historiam de regibus 
Britonum de Britannico in Latinum, fit episcopus Sancti Asaph in 
Norgualis ". 

2 Hist. Rer. Angl. Proem. (Rolls Series); 

^ Mr. Gwenogfryn Evans teUs me that he has not come across the 
name ** Gruflfydd ab Arthur " in handwriting that can date before the 
end of the sixteenth century at the earliest. 

^ As the so-called "Gwentian Brut" is the source of the few popular 
statements regarding Geoffrey's biography, it may be well to give the 
exact record as found in that document: — "Oed Crist 1152 . . . 
y gwnaethpwyd Galflfrai ab Arthur (oflfeiriad Teulu William ab 
Rhobert) yn Escob, eithr cyn ei fyned yn ei Ansawdd efe a fu farw 
yn ei Dy yn Llan Dâf, ac a cladded yn yr Eglwys yno. Gwr ydoedd 
ni chaid ei ail am ddysg a gwybodau, a phob campau dwyfawl. Mab 
Maeth oedd ef i Vchtryd Archescob Llan Dav, a nai mab brawd 
iddaw, ac am ei ddysg a'i wybodau y doded arnaw Febyddiaeth yn 
Eglwys Teilaw yn Llan Daf He y bn ef yn Athraw Uawer o ysgol- 
heigion a phendefigion." " a.d. 11Ö2 Galfrid, son of Arthur," (family 


probable explanation is that he called himself " of Mon- 
mouth" because of his connection with the Benedictine 
monastery which was founded at Monmouth in William the 
First's reign. It is worth noting that the founder of the 
Priory of Monmouth was one Wihenoc — evidently a 
Breton — who brought over to it a convent of black monks 
from St. Florence, near Saumur in Anjou.^ Two early 
charters of this priory contain the names of two Geoffreys. 
One of them was prior about 1140, and the other is de- 
scribed as chaplain to Baderon, who was nearly related 
to the founder, Wihenoc. Probably neither of these is 
our Geoffrey, but we can with some confidence hazard 
the guess that the historian was educated at this priory, 
and that he was, if not of Breton descent, brought up in 
company with men who knew something of Breton 
traditions. According to the Gwentian Brut, Uchtryd, 
who became Bishop of Llandaflf in 1140, was Geoffrey's 
uncle, and under his patronage Geoffrey settled at Llandaff 
and became "the instructor of many scholars and 
chieftains." All this we can only accept on trust.* The 

priest of William, son of Robert) was made Bishop ; but he died in 
his house at Llan Dav before he entered upon his office, and was 
buried in the church there. lie was a man whose like could not be 
found for learning and knowledge and all divine excellencies. He was 
a foster-son of Uchtryd, archbishop of Llan Dav, his uncle by the 
father's side ; and for his learning and acquirements an archdeaconry 
was conferred upon him in the church of Teilo at Llan Dav, where 
he was the instructor of many scholars and chieftains." There was 
no " archdeaconry of Monmouth " so far as we know, ever in 
existence, but it is quite possible that Geoffrey was, as this record 
states, made an archdeacon. 

^ Dugdale, Monasticon, iv. Wihenoc's name is found in Liber Lan- 
davensis (ed. Gwenogfryn Evans, p. 278) as " Gueithenauc." 

'^ It is noteworthy, however, — as Professor Lloyd has pointed out 
to me, — that in a charter of St. Peter's, Gloucester, dated 1146 (KoUs 
Series, p. 55) the name of a Geoffrey, who describes himself as " priest, 


evidence of Henry of Huntingdon is conclusive that the 
first edition of the Historia must have been composed 
before this alleged settlement at Llandaff. From the 
History itself we find that Geoffrey looked to Robert of 
Gloucester, the lord of Glamorgan/ and to Alexander, 
Bishop of Lincoln, as his two most powerful patrons. 
Robert of Gloucester died in 1147, and Bishop Alexander 
in February, 1148. As in all the known MSS., with the 
exception of one to which T shall have presently to refer, 
the general [dedication of the History is addressed to 
Robert of Gloucester, and the special dedication of the 
Prophecies of Merlin to Bishop Alexander, it is almost 
certain that the final edition of the History was com- 
pleted by the year 1147. If the Latin hexameter poem 
called the Vita Merlini be held to be a work of Geoffrey's — 
and Mr. Ward, in his Catalogue of BomanceSy adduces 

nephew of the bishop " of Llandaff, occurs among the witnesses. 
What makes against his being Geoffrey of Monmouth is that we have 
a seemingly authentic record of the latter's ordination as priest in 
1152. On the other hand, if the Geoffrey of the St. Peter's charter 
was Geoffrey of Monmouth, he was clearly not at the time arch- 
deacon. There seems to be no valid reason for doubting the 
statement that Geoffrey was the nephew of Uchtryd, especially 
if we take the name in the St. Peter's charter to be his. This 
makes it almost certain that Geoffrey was a Welshman and allied to 
a good stock. " The native chroniclers," writes Mr. Ward, " speak 
highly of Uchtryd ; and he was perhaps as thorough a Welshman as a 
church dignitary could then afford to be. Like most of the Welsh 
clergy, he was a family man ; and his daughter Angharad was married 
to lorwerth, who succeeded his father, Owen ap Caradoc, as lord of 
Caerleon upon Usk (Strata Florida Brut, p. 213). He lost and re- 
gained his lordship more than once ; but in his latter years he was 
finally confirmied in it by Henry II, about 1177. It is curious to find 
Geoffrey thus closely connected with the lords of Caerleon, a spot 
established, upon his authority, as the favourite resort of King 
Arthur." {Cat. of HomaTices, i, p. 206.) 

^ Robert of Gloucester was a generous patron of letters. William 
of Malmesbury, as well as Geoffrey, dedicated his Chronicle to him. 


strong reasons for believing it to be his/ — Geoffrey seems 
to have sought another patron in Robert Chesney, who 
succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Lincoln, and held the see 
until 1167. Neither Bishop of Lincoln, however, can have 
done much for him, for the next record of him we find is 
that of his ordination as priest by Archbishop Theobald at 
Lambeth, in February 1152. In that same month he was 
consecrated Bishop of St. Asaph. In November, 1163, 
his name appears as a witness to the compact made 
between Stephen and his successor, Henry. He died at 
Llandaff in 1156. 

Such is the meagre and uncertain account of the life of 
Geoffrey of Monmouth. His literary work affords us 
something more substantial to deal with, though the path 
of investigation even here is beset with many pitfalls. 
The Hütoria Regum Britanniae, is, of course^ beyond 
question his work, including the famous Prophecies of 
Merlin. It is not so certain whether he was the author 
of the poem called The Life of Merlin, to which I have 
alluded. I must content myself with simply stating here 
that Mr. Ward makes out, as against Thomas Wright and 
San-Marte, a very strong case in support of Geoffrey's 
authorship.'* In his edition of the Liber Landavensis, 
Mr. Gwenogfryn Evans gives it as his opinion that 
Geoffrey is the author of a considerable portion, if 
not of most, of that work. '^In the rubric to the 
late 12th century copy of the Life of Teilo," which is a 
part of that book, " the author's name appears as ^ Galf rid, 

^ Ward, Catalogue of Romances in B.M., vol. i, pp. 278, sqq. 

^ Wright's arguments are to be found in the Foreign Quarterly 
Revieiv for January 1836, and also in his edition of the poem in con- 
junction with Francisque Michel (Paris and London, 1837). San- 
Marte deals with the poem in Die Sagen von Merlin^ (Halle, 1853) 
pp. 268-339. 


the brother of Urban/ bishop of Llan Dav \" " It would be 
a strange coincidence," continues Mr. Evans, " to find two 
Galfrids at Llan Dav at the same time who were both 
possessed of marked literary ability." Whatever about 
"literary ability", it is certainly not surprising to find 
two Galfrids connected with Llan Dav at the same time. 
We have already found at least two connected with Mon- 
mouth Priory at that period, aad the name ' Galf ridus', or 
Geoffrey, was at that time quite common among the 
Anglo-Normans. Mr. Gwenogfryn Evans quotes passages 
from the Life of Teilo which, he alleges, "exhibit the 
consummate literary artist," and they certainly are striking 
enough to give plausibility, at least, to his conjecture. 
He further suggests a comparison of "the style and 
language of the Historia Regum Britanniae with those of 
the Life of Teilo." I have no doubt an adventurous critic 
could make a good deal out of such a comparison, but such 
internal evidence as can be gathered from a comparative 
study of the style of medieval Latin texts must be alto- 
gether of too elusive a character to furnish anything like 
scientific proof. Still, until such a comparison is made, 
let us give Geoffrey the benefit of the doubt and consider 
it possible at least that he may have had something to do 
with the Booh of Llan Dav. 

My concern, for the present, is with the Historia Regum 
Britanniae. Few literary problems present greater difiicul- 
ties than the attempt to fix the date, and to explore the 
origins, of that famous work. Its popularity and its 

* Mr. Gwenogfryn Evans admits that the words "brother of 
Urban" constitute a difficulty, and explains it by the suggestion 
that " the Vespasian copyist hearing that Geoffrey was a near relative 
of the Bishop of Llan Dav, without staying to inquire to what bishop, 
or in what degree, he was related, * put him down ' as brother of 


influence upon literature were immediate and immense. 
Of few medieval works, if of any, Lave we more MS. 
copies extant. The British Museum alone has thirty-four, 
and the Bodleian has sixteen. But no one has yet been able 
to hunt out of its lair the " British book " upon which 
GeofiPrey professes to have drawn, nor has any student of 
Celtic tradition succeeded in tracking to their source the 
strange legends that have been grafted in the book upon 
the slender body of truth contained in its story of the 
British kings. 

A record already referred to proves that the History 
was in existence in some form in the year 1139. Henry, 
Archdeacon of Huntingdon, in January of that year 
accompanied Theobald, the new archbishop of Canter- 
bury, on a journey to Bome, whither Theobald was 
going to receive the pallium from the Pope. On their 
way they made a short stay at the Abbey of Bee in 
Normandy, and in the library of that Abbey Robert of 
Torigny, afterwards abbot of Mont St. Michel, showed 
Henry "a great book" — liber grandis — ^by one Geoffrey 
Arthur, containing a history of the early kings of Britain. 
In a letter subsequently written to one Warinus ^ Henry 
gives a short abstract of the work. This abstract, in one 
or two passages, differs somewhat from the extant texts 
of the History. Two rather important points of difference 
require to be noticed. Henry makes no mention of 
Merlin, and he gives an account of Arthur's death sub- 
stantially different from what we find in the known MSS. 
of the History. Seeing how large a place Merlin and his 
prophecies occupy in the History as we have it, it is diffi- 
cult to account for Henry's silence except on the supposi- 
tion that the MS. he saw was a kind of early draft of the 

^ Pub. in Rolls Series, Chronicles of Stephen, etc., iv, p. 65. 


History written before GreoflFrey had included the Pro- 
phecies in it/ In his dedication to the Seventh Book, 
which contains the Prophecies, Geoffrey tells the Bishop 
of Lincoln that he " undertook the translation of Merlin's 
prophecies out of British into Latin, before he had made 
an end of the history he had begun concerning the Acts of 
the British kings/' There is nothing in this to prevent 
the supposition that Geoffrey had completed not only the 
early portion of his history, but even his first account of 
Arthur's deeds, before translating the Prophecies, or at 
least before deciding to include them in his History. It 
is less easy to account for the discrepancy between 
Geoffrey's final narrative of Arthur's death and Henry of 
Huntingdon's version. In the History we read: "And 
even the renowned king Arthur himself was mortally 
wounded ; and being carried thence to the Isle of Avallon 
to be cured of his wounds, he gave up his crown to 
his kinsman Constantine." Henry's abstract describes 
Arthur as engaging in a hand-to-hand combat with 
Modred, in which he himself was so sorely wounded that 
he fell, " although " — and here is the significant addition 
— "the Britons deny his death, and still continue to look 
for his return." It may be that these words are an inter- 
polation by Henry himself, writing perhaps from memory, 
or embodying — it may be further conjectured — a comment 
on Geoffrey's narrative made to him by Robert of 
Torigny, who was doubtless conversant with Breton tradi- 

^ The manner in which the Prophecies are introduced into the 
History (Bk. vii, ch. 1) clearly points to their having been included in 
it as an afterthought. Mr. Ward {Cat. of Romances^ i, p. 207) main- 
tains that the Prophecies were first published separately. Ordericus 
Vitalis quotes from them in the 12th book (ch. 47) of his Historia 
Ecclesiasticaj which was composed in 1136 or 1137, as "de libello 


tíons/ Henry's account of Arthur's death contains one or 
two other picturesque touches which, if they were originally 
GeofiPrey 's, it is surprising to find omitted from the History 
in its final form. We have no difficulty, however, in 
accepting the conclusion that what Henry of Huntingdon 
saw at Bee was a genuine, though perhaps early, copy — 
Mr. Ward calls it a "first recension" — of the History of 
the Kings of Britain. 

I have already stated that we have strong evidence for 
believing that the final edition of the History had been 
completed before the end of the year 1147. But there 
exists a MS. which, if the dedication be genuine, and if 
its contents correspond to what actually accompanied that 
dedication at the time it was written, proves the History to 
have been composed in something very like its final form at 
an earlier date than even 1139. That is the famous Bern 
MS., of which the only authoritative account in English is 
furnished by Sir F. Madden in the Journal of the Archaeo^ 
logical Institute for 1868. There Sir Frederick Madden 
publishes the text of the double dedication of the MS., and 
assuming it to be genuine, builds upon it some very definite 
conclusions. The dedication is addressed to King Stephen 

^ That traditions about Arthur's return prevailed in Wales before 
Geoffrey's time, and that they were known in Brittany, is certain (see 
note to p. 1). Zimmer {Zeitsch.f. franz. Spr. u. Lit., Bd. xiii, p. 109) 
quotes an account of a visit to Cornwall in 1113 by certain monks of 
Laon, who raised a tumult at Bodmin because they refused to believe 
that Arthur still lived. " Sed sicut Britones solent jurgari cimi Francis 
pro rege Arturo, idem vir coepit rixari cum uno ex famulis nostris, 
nomine Haganello, .... dicens adhuc Arturum vivere. Unde 
non parvo tumultu exorto cum armis ecclesiam irruunt plurimi,'' etc. 
(Migne, Patrologia, Bd. 156, col. 983). Ward also refers to this 
passage {Cat. of Romances, i, p. 217). The idea of the "return" may, 
of course, be read into Geoffrey's own words "to be cured of his 
wounds", but the difference between these words and the explicit 
statement in Henry's abstract is remarkable. 


and to Robert of Gloucester. King Stephen is extolled 
as a scholar and a patron of letters in much the same 
words as Robert of Gloucester is extolled in the other 
MSS. Robert himself is addressed as " the second pillar 
of the realm", and is praised in much more elaborate 
phrases.^ As Sir Frederick Madden points out, this 
dedication, if genuine, must have been written at some 
time between April 1136 and May 1138, — the season 
during which Stephen and Robert of Gloucester were on 
friendly terms. If, moreover, we accept not only the dedi- 
cation as genuine, but the text of the Bern MS. as 
contemporary with the dedication, we must assume that 
the History, in a form substantially similar to the final 
MSS. and printed texts, was composed before the middle 
of the year 1138. For the text of the Bern MS. does not 
differ in substance from that of other and better known 

^ I give the dedication here in full from the copy of the Bern MS., 
made by my friend, Mr. G. B. Mathews, M.A., F.R.S. 

" Opusculo igitur meo Stephane rex Anglie faveas : ut sic te 
doctore te monitore corrigatur quod non ex Gaufridi Monemutensis 
fonticulo censeatur exortum. set sale minerve tue conditum illius 
dicatur editio. cujus Henricus illustris rex Anglorum avunculus extitit. 
quem philosophia liberalibus erudivit. quem innata probitas in 
milicia militibus prefecit. unde Britannia insula tibi nunc temporibus 
nostris. ac si alterum Ilenricum adepta interno congratulatur affectu. 
Tu quoque Roberte consul claudiocestrie altera regni nostri columna. 
operam adibeas tuam. ut utriusque moderatione communicata: 
editio in medium producta. et pulcrius elucescat. Te etenim ex illo 
celeberrimo rege Henrico progenitum. mater philosophia in gremio 
suo excepit. scientiarumque suarum subtilitatem edocuit. ac deinde 
ut in militaribus clareres exercitiis ad castra regum derexit : ubi com- 
militones tuos audacter supergressus. et terror hostium insistere et 
protectio tuorum esse paternis auspiciis addidicisti. Fidelis itaque 
protectio tuorum existens : me tuum vatem. codicemque ad oblecta- 
mentum tui editum sub tutela tua recipias : ut sub tegmine tam 
patule arboris recumbans. calamum muse mee coram invidisatque 
improbis tuto modulamine resonare queam." 



MSS. Thiough the kindness of my friend and former 
colleague, Mr. Gr. B. Mathews, I have been able to procure 
a copy of that MS.^ The MS., according to his account of 
it, forms part of a vellum codex and is written in a variety 
of hands (probably at least five). The introduction 
occupies one folio, and is in a different hand from that 
which immediately follows, and cannot be certainly iden- 
tified with any of the others. But, apart from this, there 
seems to be no reason to suppose that the intro- 
duction has been interpolated. The text presents numer- 
ous differences in detail and order of words, and 
several important differences, in the spelling of proper 
names, from the printed texts of Giles and San-Marte.^ 

^ The text of the Bern MS. will shortly be published, under the 
joint editorship of Mr. Mathews and myself, as part of the Cymmro- 
dorion Record Series. An edition of Geoffrey's History comes very 
appropriately in a series in which new editions of Gildas and Nennius 
have been already arranged for. 

'^ I have indexed the proper names in the MS. and compared them 
carefully with those in San-Marte's text, which is the best of the 
printed ones, and with the Welsh forms of the names as given in 
Mr. Gwenogfrjm Evans's edition of the Welsh version of Geoffrey's 
Brut from the Red Book of Hergest. I give a few examples of the 
most significant differences (B. standing for Bern MS. names, S. for 
San-Marte's text, and W. for the Welsh text). 

CamblaniLSy fluvius, (xi, 2), B. CamJbula, S. Camlany W. 

Cuelinus, (iv, 8), B. EvelintiSf S. Giielyn, W. 

Epiffordj vadum (vi, 13), B. Episford, S. Epifforty W. 

Frollo, (ix, 11), B. Flollo, S. Frollo, W. 

Galabroc (v, 4), B. Gallembornef S. Galbrwc, W. 

Crrifud, map Nogoid (ix, 12), B. Guisul, S. Gruffuddf W. 

Cruaia, flumen (viii, 2), B. Gania, S. Gwy^ W. 

Guenhuuaraj Guenhumarey B. GuanhumarUy S. Gioenhwyfary W. 

GioalganuSy Gwalgivainus, B. Walgainus, S. Gioalchmei, W. 

Hamo LeliuSj B. Levis hamOj S. Lelius HamOf W. 

Hiwenus, iilius Uriani (xi, 1), B. Eventus, S. Owein, W. 

SulgeniiiSj (v, 2), B. Eulgenius, S. SulyeUf W. 

Teliatcs (ix, 15). CheltanitSj S. Teilaw, W. 

Tonwenna (iii, 7). Conwennay S. TanweUy W. 
It will be seen that in every instance given the spelling of the Bern 
text is much nearer the Welsh forms than that of San-Marte's. 


The textual diflFerences are all of one kind — ^the Latinity 
is less polished than that of the other MSS., a fact which 
supports the belief that the Bern MS. represents an earlier 
edition of the work. Four excellent photographs of pas- 
sages^ in four different hands were submitted to Mr. 
Warner, of the British Museum, and he compared them 
with the oldest MS. of Geoffrey possessed by the Museum.^ 
" I should date both MSS.," he writes, *^ somewhere about 
1160. In its earlier part the Cotton MS. looks a little the 
older of the two^ but there is so little difference that it is 
impossible to be confident." I suspect that the Bern MS., 
certainly as old a MS. of the History as any we know, is a 
copy of a Tery early edition of the full flistory, and as 
there is no valid reason for doubting the genuineness of 
its dedication, it may be inferred that Geoffrey had com- 
pleted his first draft of the History before 1138. He very 
probably revised it from time to time, and ten years 
later it had reached a form which he regarded as final. 

So much for the date of the History. Next comes the 
vexed question of its sources. It would be impossible 
within the scope of such a paper as this to review and to 
examine, point by point, the various theories that have 
been advanced in the attempt to solve this very difficult 
problem. I can only state what the problem is, and give, 
for what they are worth, such conclusions as I myself have 
come to in my reading of the subject. Geoffrey states in 
his prologue that in the course of his " many and various 
studies, he happened to light upon the History of the 
kings of Britain, and wondered that in the account Gildas 
and Bede, in their elegant treatises, had given of them, he 
found nothing said of those kings who lived here before 
the incarnation of Christ, nor of Arthur." He professes 

\ Cotton, Titus C. xvii. 



to have found what he wanted in " a very ancient book in 
the British tongue '" presented to him by Walter, arch- 
deacon of Oxford, "which, in a continued regular story 
and elegant style, related the actions of them all down to 
Cadwallader, the son of Cadwallo." At the end of the 
History, again, he states that he leaves the history of the 
kings of the Saxons to William of Malmesbury and Henry 
of Huntingdon. " But I advise them to be silent concern- 
ing the kings of the Britons, since they have not that book 
in the British tongue, which Walter, archdeacon of Ox- 
ford, brought out of Britain."^ Then, to add to the 

^ Geoffrey mentions " the British book" three times — viz., in Book 
i, 1, in Book xi, 1, and in Book xii, 20. In i, 1, he says, " codicem 
ilium in Latinum sermonem transferre curavij'' " I undertook the 
translation of that book into Latin." These words are repeated 
in xii, 20, at the very end of the History. The opening words 
of Book xi are, "wi in Britannico praefato sermone invenity et a 
Gualtero Oxenefordensi in multis historiis peritissimo viro audivit, 
vili licet stilo breviter propalabity'' " he (Geoffrey), though in a 
mean style, will briefly relate what he found in the British book 
already mentioned, and heard from that most learned historian, 
Walter of Oxford.", This second passage plainly indicates that 
Geoffrey was no mere translator, if indeed he was a translator at all. 
M. Gaston Paris (Homania, xii, 372) fastens upon these two contra- 
dictory statements, and draws from them the inference that Geoffrey 
was a compiler, who put together what he found in some old MSS., 
what he heard from Walter and from popular gossip, and what he 
himself invented. M. Paris's article will be found referred to again 
in a note. 

*-* I translate " Britain" advisedly. Giles (in Six Old English 
Chronicles^ published in Bohn's Library) translates " Brittany." The 
whole question turns upon whether Britannicus in Book i, 1, in ix, 1, 
and in xii, 20, and Britannia in xii, 20, are used in a different sense 
from that in which they are in all the other places where they occur 
in the History. M. Arthur de la Borderie, in a work I shall again 
have to refer to, maintains that Britannicus and Britannia could not 
possibly mean Breton and Brittany, as when Geoffrey expressly refers 
to Brittany he either speaks of it as minor or altei'a BHtannia^ or as 
Arnwrica or Armoricum litus. One passage, however, which M. de la 


mystification, we have in some of the Welsh versions of 
the History the book given by Walter called a " Llyvyr 
Cymraec", a Welsh book, together with the statement 
that Walter translated the book from Latin into Welsh, 
and that it was re-translated into Latin by Geoffrey. In 
the Red Book Welsh text, which is by far the best of the 
Welsh versions, we find in the last paragraph a statement 
which adds further to the tangle, ^^T Uyfyr Brwtwn 

Borderie quotes as if it supported his theory, seems to me to make 
against it. It occurs in Bk. v, ch. 12, and runs, Ut igitur transfre- 
tavit, adivit primitua Armoricum regnum quod nunc Britannia diciturj 
et populum Francorum (Giles and San-Marte read Gallorum) qui inerat 
debellare incepit. "Which is now called Britannia" is an insertion, 
which does make it possible that Geoffrey may have meant " Brittany " 
and " Breton " in the four places above alluded to. In the twelfth 
century chronicles Britannitty and not Armorica, is the usual name for 
Brittany. ( Vide William of Malmesbury, passim.) A good deal has 
been written about the use of Britannicu^, Britannia^ BritoneSj etc. In 
Romania for January 1899, M. Ferdinand Lot discusses the matter in 
reply to Herr E. Brugger (" Ueber die Bedeutung von Bretagne, 
Breton" — Zeitschrift fur franzosische Spr ache und Litter atur, xx, 1898). 
Herr Brugger distinguishes between the four significations which the 
name had in the 12th century as follows: — 1. Britannia = Gresit 
Britain, when the Saxon invasions and the exploits of Arthur are 
spoken of ; Britones are the Britons of the island. 2. After the migra- 
tion to Brittany, Britannia and Britones both came to be applied to 
Brittany and the Bretons. 3. By the learned writers of the 12th cen- 
tury Britannia was used as meaning the Great Britain of their time, 
but never as equivalent to Wales alone. Britones, however, does not 
seem to have been a name given to the mixed population of the whole 
island. 4. Britones was sometimes, by learned writers, used of the 
descendants of the old British race dwelling in the West and North of 
Great Britain. M. Lot admits that Ilerr Brugger is right in maintain- 
ing that Britannia was never used as equivalent to Wales, but holds 
that he has not made out his case as regards Britones^ Britanni and 
gens Britannica. M. Gaston Paris (Romaniaj xii, 372 sqq.) goes even 
further than M. de la Borderie, and thinks that by Britannia Geoffrey 
means, not merely Wales, but Great Britain, but in order to maintain 
this theory he has, without any documentary or other evidence to 


hwnn.^ . . . jT hwnn a ymchoeles Gwallter arch diagon 

Eytychen o Vrytanec yg Kymraec Ar y wed 

honn y prydereis inheu y ymchoelut ef yr Ladin." — " This 
Britannic^ book .... which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford 

turned from Britannic into Welsh and in this form 

I also took pains to translate it into Latin." 

Out of all this comes the familiar crtix — What was the 
^' British Book " upon which Geoffrey professes to have 
drawn ? Did such a book really exist ? If so, what was 
it, and what has since become of it ? The various opinions 
held on the matter range themselves under three heads, 
— (i) such a book did exist, but has since been lost, 
or remains to be discovered; (ii) the British book was 

support him, to assume that Geoffrey wrote his History in Normandy. 
" Rien ne nous prouve que Gaufrei f ût en Grande-Bretagne quand il 
ecrivait son livre, et il y a meme des vraisemblances pour qu'il fût en 
Normandie. Si Gaufrei était en Normandie, on comprend trèsbien qu'il 
prétende que le livre gallois qu'il dit traduire lui a été apporté de 
Grande-Bretagne par Gautier d' Oxford, et ainsi disparaît tout 
diflSculté sur ce passage." But does it ? We have no proof that 
Geoffrey wrote his book in Normandy, and to transport him into that 
country in order to explain Britannia is a somewhat large liberty to 

^ Mr. Gwenogfryn Evans, in a note to the Preface to his edition of 
Geoffrey's Brut, falls foul of Mr. Skene for taking Brwtion and 
Brytanec to mean " Breton " in this passage. " Mr. Skene," he 
writes, " does not give a single instance of Briotwn and Brytanec 
being used in Welsh in this sense ; nor does he seem to be conscious 
of the new difficulties to which his interpretation gives rise. me 
direct the attention of the reader to the use of Briotwn on pp. 139, 
and 171, and of Brytanec on pp. 58-414 : it will then be seen how Mr. 
Skene * extricates some facts.' There is no foundation whatever in 
any Welsh MS. I have examined for the assumption that Geoffrey's 
original was in Breton." But what are we to make of " ymchoeles o 
Vrytanec yg Kymraec"? What was the "Britannic" tongue from 
which the book was turned into Welsh ? The evidence afforded by 
this Welsh passage, together with that given in the note on the 
previous page, seems to me to be slightly in favour of the opinion 
that Britannia must have been Brittany. 


merely a copy of Nennius ; (iii) the mention of the book 
is a mere subtjerf uge, Geoffrey relying mainly upon popular 
traditions and upon his own imagination. It will be most 
convenient to deal with the second hypothesis first, as 
being the least tenable of the three. M. Paulin Paris is 
its chief advocate, and Mr. Ward (Catalogue of R&mancesy i, 
215j seems to me to have effectually disposed of his argu- 
ments. That Geoffrey borrowed from Nennius is indispu- 
table. In San-Marte's edition of the Historia the portions 
corresponding, either verbatim or in substance, to Nennius's 
Historia Britonum^ as well as to Gildas and Bede, may 
be seen printed in italics. But, curiously enough, 
Geoffrey does not once mention Nennius by name. He 
does, however, mention Gildas, and, in spite of M. Paris's 
arguments to the contrary, it is dilBScult to escape the 
conclusion that Geoffrey assumed the Historia Britonum^ 
now assigned to Nennius, to be the work of Gildas.^ 
Moreover, as Mr. Ward points out, ^^it seems most 
improbable that Geoffrey could have supposed his copy 
(of Nennius) to be the only one in England," which 
his reference to the " British book " plainly implies.^ 

Those who maintain that he must have had a lost 
British book before him argue somewhat as follows. If 
he had none, then Archdeacon Walter was a party to the 
fraud, as the statement that he furnished the book was 
made during his life-time. Again, is it likely — it is 
asked, — ^that, had the statement about the book been a 
mere ruse^ the History would have been dedicated to King 

^ Henry of Huntingdon, in a passage about the battlefields of 
Arthur which he quotes in his Chronicle as from the Historia 
Britonuniy makes the same mistake. 

^ Another obvious argument, of course, against " the British book " 
being a copy of Nennius is that Geoffrey states it to have been 
written in the *^ British tongue " (Britannico sermone). 


Stephen and Robert of Gloucester, or that William of 
Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon would have been 
cautioned by name not to meddle with the history of the 
British kings ? " Had any one of these four insisted on 
seeing the Breton original, and the latter not been pro- 
duceable, what would have happened to Geoffrey and the 
Archdeacon ? " ^ This argument is by no means conclu- 
sive, for it suggests the question — ^How came it that one 
of these men, or some other responsible person, did not 
insist on seeing so remarkable a work? It is scarcely 
credible that there were at the time no inquiries con- 
cerning it, and it is significant that while no contemporary 
writer speaks of having seen it, some twelfth-century 
chroniclers do denounce Geoffrey as a fabricator and 
purveyor of false history. William of Newburgh, for 
instance, speaks of Geoffrey as " a saucy and shameless 
liar," ^ and a few years later Giraldus Cambrensis makes 
him the object of some polite sarcasms. ^ There is a 

^ E. B. Nicholson in Academy, April 11, 1896. A similar line of 
argument is followed by William Wynne, an implicit believer in 
Geoffrey's good faith, in his quaint preface to his edition of The 
History of Wales, written originally in British by Caradoc of Llancarvan^ 
Englished by Dr. Powell (London, 1774). 

^* William of Newburgh's language is, in Wynne's opinion (see the 
Preface referred to in the previous note), so " scurrilous and un- 
mannerly " that " he therein expresses his ignorance and malice 
rather than any love and regard to truth and ingenuity." William's 
actual words are : — " Praeterea in libro suo, quem Britonum historiam 
vocat, quam petulanter et quam impudenter fere per omnia mentia- 
tur, nemo nisi veterum historiarum ignarus, cum in librum ilium 
incident, ambigere sinitur." Chronicles of Stephen, etc. (Rolls Series). . 

^ Giraldus's satirical reference to Geoffrey is well known. He 
speaks of a Welshman at Caerleon named Melerius, who "having 
always an extraordinary familiarity with evil spirits, by seeing them, 
knowing them, talking with them, and calling each by his proper 
name, was enabled through their assistance to foretell future events. 
He knew when anyone spoke falsely in his presence, for he 

• • • 


curious passage in the epilogue to Geoffrey Graimar's poem 
^^The History of the English," composed about 1150, 
in which reference is made to two books, one of which 
may very well have been Geoffrey's original. Gaimar says 
that he could never have completed his poem had he not 
obtained, through the assistance of his patroness, the lady 
Custance, "the book of Walter Espec." This and "the 
good book of Oxford, which belonged to Walter, the arch- 
deacon," were both used by him in composing his poem.^ 

saw the devil as it were leaping and exulting on the tongue of the 

liar If the evil spirits oppressed him too much, the Gospel 

of St. John was placed on his bosom, when, like birds, they immedi- 
ately vanished ; but when that book was removed, and the History 
of the Britons by Geoffrey Arthur was substituted in its place, they 
instantly reappeared in greater numbers, and remained a longer time 
than usual on his body and on the book." 

^ The passage from Gaimar (Vestorie des Bngles, edited and trans- 
lated in Rolls Series by Duffus Hardy), is worth giving in full. 

Ele enveiad a Helmeslac She (dame Custance) sent to 

Pur le liuere Walter Espac. For the book of Walter Espec. 

Robert li quens de Gloucestre Robert, thç earl of Gloucester, 
Fist translator icele geste. Had this history translated, 

Solum les liueres as Waleis According to the book of the Welsh, 

Kil aueient des Bretons reis. Which they had, about British 

Walter Espec la demandat, Walter Espec asked for it. 

Li quens Robert li enveiat. Earl Robert sent it to him. 

Puis la prestat Walter Espec Then Walter Espec lent it 

A Raoul le fiz Gilebert. To Ralph Fitz Gilbert. 

Dame Custance lenpruntat Dame Custance borrowed it 

De son seignur kele mult amat. Of her lord whom she loved much. 
Geffrai Gaimar eel liuere escrit, Geoffrey Gaimar wrote this book. 
Les translad anfes i mist He translated them, put in deeds 

Ke li Waleis ourent leisse ; Which the Welsh had left out. 

Kil aueit ainz purchace, For he had already obtained, 

V fust a dreit v fust a tort. Whether right or wrong, 

Le bon liuere de Oxeford, The good b<^k of Oxford 

Ki fust Walter larcediaen. Which belonged to Walter, the 

Gaimar was poet and chaplain to the Ralph Fitz Gilbert (dame Cus- 
tance's husband) mentioned in this passage. 


Mr. Ward holds that " the book of Oxford " " may have 
been either the book brought out of Brittany or nothing 
more than a copy of Nennius." A noteworthy con- 
tribution to the investigation of Geoffrey's originals is 
that of M. Arthur de la Borderie. M. de la Borderie 
professes to have discovered in an old Latin life of a 
Breton saint, the Life of 8t. Ooueznon, ^ traces of what 
he calls an interniediate work between the Hiatoria 
Britonum of Nennius and the Historia Begum Britanniae of 
Geoffrey. The writer of the Saint's Life mentions a 
certain Historia Britannica, which could not possibly be 
Nennius's History, because it contains names and records 
of events of which there is no trace in Nennius. Among 
other things, the Historia Britannica attributes the con- 
quest of Brittany to Conan Meriadec, whereas Nennius 
does not even name Conan, and attributes the conquest to 
Maximus ; it speaks of both Brutus and Corineus in 
connection with the occupation of Britain, while Nennius 
only knows of Brutus ; Arthur, again, is in the Historia 
Britannica a much more distinct personage than in 
Nennius. ^ M. de la Borderie thinks this history to have 

^ The date^ authorship, etc., of the Vie de Saint Goveznon are given 
by Albert le Grand in his Vies des Saints de Bretagne^ "par Guillaume, 
prestre et chapellain ou ausmosnier d' Eudon, evesque de Leon, auquel 
il la dédia I'an 1019." " On n'a pas jusqu' à present " continues M. 
de la Borderie, " recouvre cet original MS. ; ce que nous avons est un 
extrait, fort incomplet, copié au XVe siécle, mais portant en tête le 
nom de I'auteur, la dédicace, la date, absolument dans les termes ou 
les rapporte le P. Albert ; ce qui suflärait a établir 1' authenticité de 
document." V Historia Britannica avant Geoffroi de Monmouthj par 
A. de la Borderie (Paris, H. Champion : London, B. Quaritch, 1883). 

"^ Another point of difference is that Nennius passes over in silence 
the British migrations caused by Saxon ravages, whereas the Historia 
Britannica attaches much importance to them. Altogether the H B. 
shows a much closer resemblance to Geoffrey than to Nennius, but it 
is impossible that the H B. could have been merely a copy of Geoffrey, 



been " a work of the imagination of the Britons of Great 
Britain, and not of the Britons of Artnorica," and he 
concludes, in a quaint sentence, that "the Historia 
Britonum of Nennius is the Qggy the Historia Britannica 
the chicken, and the Historia Begwm Britanniae the superb 
and loud-voiced cock."^ What M. de la Borderie has 
discovered may very probably be an intermediate work 
between Nennius and Geoffrey, but it can scarcely have 
been " the British book", as that book was in " the 
British tongue " (Britannico sermone), whereas the book 
quoted by the author of the Life of St. Ooueznon must have 
been in Latin. I cannot leave this question of Geoffrey's 
sources without paying a word of tribute to Thomas 
Stephens's discussion of it in his lAteratwre of the Èymry. 
Although he falls into errors in dealing with Geoffrey's 
biography, and mistakes Walter Calenius for Walter Map, 
his treatment of the subject is as sane and, according 
to his information, as sound as any that has since 
appeared.* "The explanation of all the facts," Stephens 

as the account of the settlement of Brittany is totally different from 
that of Greoffrey. " Geoffroi emprunte à 1' Historia Britannica le nom 
du conquerant et du premier roi Breton, Conan Meriadec ; mais sur 
les causes et les circonstances de cette conquete, il abandonne entière- 
ment 1' Historia Britannica pour reprendre, en le developpant avec 
abondance, le theme de Nennius, qui fait de cette expedition une 
dépendance de la conquete des Gaules aecomplie par de tyran 
Maxime '^ (La Borderie). 

^ " Nennius, ou V Historia Britonumj c'est Toeuf ; V Historia Britan- 
nicaj c'est le poulet ; V Historia regum Britanniae^ c'est le coq superbe 
et bruyant, qui chante sa fanfare à grande orchestre." 

* Perhaps Stephens is apt to accept too implicitly the antiquity of 
certain Welsh compositions. For instance, referring to Geoffrey's 
omission of the speech of the eagle at the building of Shaftesbury, he 
states that the eagle's prediction is published in the second volume of 
the Myvyrian Archaiology . " It contains," he writes, " allusions to the 
Normans, and could not therefore have been found in any book that 
was very old in Geoffrey's day ; it is not contained in the Kymric 


writes, " seems to be a Breton book.'" Bat that Geoffrey 
merely translated such a book Stephens does not belieye, 
and he has plenty of evidence to the contrary to his hand. 
His general conclusion appears to me to be as near an 
approximation to the truth about the whole matter as 
we can hope for. ** We may conclude that (Jeoffrey was 
less a translator than an original author, that the ecclesias- 
tical and scholastic flourishes are his own, that a great 
part of the work was derived from Cymric sources, and 
that in the wars of Arthur and the cx>ncluding portions he 
has borrowed from Armorican traditions, or probably 
translated some Breton manuscript." 

MS8. of hia history ; and therefore it is much more probable that he 
met with it in collecting materials for this work than that it had been 
woven into any digested narrative." Lit. of Kymry (2nd edition), p. 
301. It is much more likely that this, and a prediction of Merlin's 
to which Stephens refers, were composed after the History had 
become well-known, to supply some of its lacunaey than that they are 
anterior to it in date. The fact, however, that the prophecy printed 
in the My^yyrian (p. 561) is in actual form posterior to Greoflfrey's 
History does not do away with the extreme probability that a 
prophecy or prophecies attributed to an eagle were current among 
Welsh bards and story-tellers long before his time. 

^ Stephens maintains with much acuteness that ''the Arthurian 
portion of Geoffrey's chronicle was composed in Brittany." His 
familiarity with Arthur's Continental exploits and his " ignorance of 
Arthur's Kymric history '' are certainly strong arguments in support 
of this view. For a full statement of the arguments see Lit. of the 
Kymry (2nd edition), pp. 307, 308. One point made by Stephens 
deserves special mention. " In relating the story of Arthur and 
Medrod in Britain," he writes, '* Geoffrey has recourse to other 
authorities than that which had sufficed for the account of the hero's 
Continental wars. In most Kymric copies there is no remark to this 
effect ; in the last the authority is said to be Walter, the archdeacon ; 
but in the earliest Cambrian MS. the truth seems to peep out in the 
words, * Here ends the story of Arthur and Medrod,' thus by the 
admission of an extra story implying that some other authority had 
been used previously." 


Those who are jealous for the claims of Wales in this 
matter may comfort themselves with the reflection that 
the terms "Breton" and "Welsh", as used of the 
langiiage of the supposed " British book", do not represent 
any very important diflPerence. If, as Geoffrey says, the 
book was " very ancient", it must have been composed at 
a date before any considerable differentiation between the 
Welsh and the Breton dialects had taken place. The 
MS. Welsh literature that has come down to us is much 
older than any Breton literature that we possess. Indeed, 
in any discussion of the early origins of "the matter 
of Britain", Breton literature, though by no means Breton 
tradition, is ruled out of court. ^ On the ether hand, we 
have no Welsh prose record of any kind anterior to 
Geoffrey, and this makes it hard to believe that he could 
have had in his possession any " very ancient book " in the 
Welsh tongue. It is unlikely, however, that Geoffrey 
would have ventured to speak of " a book in the British 
tongue " had there been no Welsh records of some kind in 
circulation at his time. The doubts and uncertainties that 
beset the whole matter lend considerable support to those 
who deny altogether that Geoffrey ever had such a book 
before him. It is not at all improbable that he mentions 
^^ the British book " simply to give the appearance of 
authority to such popular traditions as he made use 
of, as well as to incidents of his own imagining. It was 
a favourite device with medieval romancers to give their 

^ It should be stated that by the 12th century the Welsh and 
Breton dialects had become sufficiently distinct to enable philologists 
to determine whether particular words are Breton or Welsh in form. 
Several of the proper names in Geoffrey are subjects of controversy 
between Zimmer and his school, who maintain the Armorican origin, 
and Loth, Lot, and others, who contend for the Welsh origin of the 
Arthurian legends. But the controversy has little bearing upon the 
language and character of the British book. 


fictions, whether borrowed or invented, an air of reality 
by frequent reference to " the book".^ It is conceivable 
that Greo£Erey, with a like intent, prefaced and ended his 
work by invoking the authority of a book that never 
existed. This supposition, of course, forces us to regard 
Archdeacon Walter as "a party to the fraud", but it is 
not impossible that even an archdeacon at that time should 
have countenanced so innocent an imposture. Another 
argument in favour of the non-existence of the " British 
book" is based upon the seemingly playful tone of 
Geoffrey's epilogue. He leaves the history of the British 
kings to Caradoc of Llancarvan, — ^probably a protege of his 
who could be let into the secret and be trusted to impi'ove 
upon it. But known and reputable historians like William 
of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon are advised " to 
be silent concerning the kings of the Britons, since they 
have not the book in the British tongue which Walter 

Whatever the truth may be, it seems to me that a 
good deal of ingenuity has been vainly spent in the 
attempts to solve the problem of " the British book". 
Geoffrey doubtless had some MSS., besides copies of 
Nennius and Bede, to draw from. Even more certain it is 

^ My friend, Mr. Hudson Williams, M.A., sends me a good 
example of this practice from the opening lines of Berthe aux grands 
pieds, by Adenet de Roi (second half of thirteenth century) : — 
" A Paris la cite estoie un venredi : 
Pour ce qu'il ert devenres, en mon cuer m'assenti 
K'a Saint-Denis iroie por priier Dieu merci. 
A un moine courtois, c'on nommoit Savari, 
M' acointai telement, Damedieu en graci, 
Que le livre as estotres me monstra, et g'i vi 
L'estoire de Bertain, et de Pepin aussi," etc. 
After complaining how bungling minstrels and wretched scribes have 
made a mess of the whole thing, the poet says that he "took the 
true history away with him." 


that he utilised popular traditions.^ He also expressly 
states (xi, 1) that he has incorporated in his narrative 
what he heard by word of mouth from his friend Walter, 
the archdeacon. It would be too much, perhaps, to 
say that GeofPrey deliberately invented incidents in his 
narrative, but that he extended, exaggerated, and 
^* embroidered upon" what he had read and heard is 
more than probable.^ For my own part I cannot help 
believing that Arthur's exploits, for instance, grew 
under Geoffrey's hands as he was writing. I am 
unable to read the narrative without the suspicion 

^ Unlike Nennius, for instance, GeoiFrey makes Vortigern die at 
Genoreu, which is Gannerew, near Monmouth. He did so, no doubt, 
on the strength of traditions which he had heard in the locality. 
Most of " the fables", which William of Newburgh and others tax 
him with having woven into his History, were almost certainly based 
upon the " idle tales of the Britons " — the nugae Britonum of William 
of Malmesbury. Where Greoffrey's own invention and art came in 
was in the artistic setting and manipulation of these stories. 

^ M. Gaston Paris (JRoTnama, xii, 372) is of opinion that Geoffrey 
invented a good deal, but without displaying any particular skill in 
doing so. " Assurément il a beaucoup — et très pauvrement, — invente ; 
mais il s'est appuyé, en beaucoup de points, sur des légendes galloises, 
sur des contes populaires qu'il a arbitrairement rattachés à des noms 
des rois (Lear, Bladud, etc.)." M. Paris does not believe that Geoffrey 
translated any British book. " II ment certainement, car on a prouve 
qu'il reproduisait textuellement des phrases latines d'ecrivains ante- 
rieurs, et que par consequent il ne traduisait, pas du Gallois. 
II se contredit d*ailleurs; il pretend à un endroit (xii, 20) qu'il a 
simplement traduit le livre galloise (in latinwn semwnem transferre 
curavi\ et à un autre (xi, 1) il dit qu'il écrit tant d' après ce livre que 
d'après les récits de Gautier {ut Gaufridtis in Britannico praefato 
sermone invenit et a Gualtero Oocinefordensi audivit). La verite est, à 
mon sens, dans cette demière phrase. C'est avec VHistoria Britonum 
d'une part et les récits de son ami Gautier, ainsi que ses propres 
souvenirs de contes gallois d'autre part que Gaufrei a compose son 
roman." M. Gaston Paris holds that a " British book " of some sort 
did exist, as the names in Geoffrey's History appear to be frequently 
more archaic in form than those given by Nennius, and they are such 
that Geoffrey could not possibly have invented. 


that GeofiPrey, once he was embarked upon the history of 
Merlin and of Arthur, felt that he had got hold of a good 
thing and, with the instinct of a bom romancer, deter- 
mined to make the most of it. Arthur's conquests are 
extended well nigh over all Western Europe — Ireland, 
Iceland and the Orkneys, Norway, Dacia, Gaul, come 
under his sway, and he is finally found marching even 
upon Bome itself.^ So imposing a figure does he become 

^ Stephens {Lit. of Kymry^ 2nd ed., p. 307) speaks of Arthur's Roman 
wars as being " unknown to the native legends", and holds that the 
description of " Paris, Burgundy, the Alps, Italy, and other places 
unknown to the Kymry," proves that the work " must have been 
composed by some person or persons abroad." This hypothesis 
receives no support from the Breton lays or what is known of early 
Breton tradition. The evolution of Arthur as a European conqueror 
points to the palpable influence of the stories of Alexander and of 
Charlemagne upon the legend. It may be that the idea originated on 
the continent, perhaps in Brittany. But it seems to me that the 
various stages and details of Arthur's continental conquests, as found 
in the ^ History', might very well have been evolved out of Geoffrey's 
own brain, who, as a lettered man, would be familiar with the names 
of the places which Stephens describes as " unknown to the Kymry". 
It should be stated that some scholars find the origin of some of the 
conquests of Arthur, as related by Geoffrey, in the Celtic mjrth about 
Arthur's visit to Hades (vide esp. Rhys, Arthurian Legend j p. 11). 
Professor Rhys finds a form of this myth in a story in Kulhxoch and 
Ohoen, in which "Arthur and his men sail, not on a voyage to Hades, 
which had become unintelligible, but to Erinn, to obtain possession 
of the cauldron of a certain Diwrnach." " In the hands of Geoffrey 
of Monmouth," he continues, "this myth became the quasi-history 
of a great invasion of Ireland by Arthur, resulting in the annexation 
of that coiuitry to his empire. The same was probably the nature of 
Arthur's march as far as the Caledonian forest when he made Arawn 
king of Scotland, (* Arawn ' by the way, is the reading only of the 
Welsh texts, AugiLseliis being the Latin name). For the Welsh knew 
only one Arawn, and he was king of Hades." Again, " Arthur's 
conquest of Scandinavia was probably founded on a change in the 
meaning of the word Llychlyn, which at first meant the fabulous land 
beneath the lakes or the waves of the sea, but got, in the time of the 
Norsemen's ravages, to mean the land of the Fiords, or Norway, as 
did Lochlann in Irish." 


that William of Newburgh complaÌDS that he has made 
the little finger of his Arthur stouter than the back of 
Alexander the Great. Shall we be far wrong in regarding 
Geoffrey's chronicle as not only marking a new departure 
in literary history — which, apart from any question as to 
his intentions, it undoubtedly does — but as being a deliber- 
ate new departure, as a more or less studied attempt on his 
part to graft romance upon the old and respectable trunk of 
the "Chronicle"? Chronicles at that time constituted 
the staple of literature ; they formed the regular literary 
exercise of monkish scribes. Is it impossible that a man 
of an imaginative turn of mind and, let us say, of some 
humour, should have perceived the opportunities of the 
chronicle as a medium of entertainment as well as of in- 
'formation ? Geoffrey, in his Preface, after paying a 
passing tribute to the " bright treatises" {luculento tractatu) 
of Gildas (or Nennius) and Bede, speaks of ^^ the British 
book" as giving the acts of the British kings in ^^ a con- 
tinued and ordered narrative of extreme beauty of style. "^ 
This sounds remarkably like a preparation, or apology, for 
the ornate and highly rhetorical style in which he was 
going to clothe his own Latin narrative. Most of the old 
chronicles were anything but " ordered narratives " dis- 
tinguished by beauty of style. Geoffrey saw that some- 
thing new was required, something more in keeping with 

' Actus omnium continue et ex ordine perpulcris orationibtcs proponebat. 
In the two sentences that immediately follow, GeoflTrey disclaims any 
rhetorical gift or intention in a way that is too transparent. "At 
his (Walter's) request," he writes, "though I had not made fine 
language my study by collecting florid expressions from other authors, 
yet, contented with my own homely style, I imdertook the translation 
of that book into Latin. For if I had swelled the pages with rhetori- 
cal flourishes, I must have tired my readers by employing their 
attention more upon my words than upon the history." — (Giles' 



the demands of a time when the first faint dawn of the 
Renascence was beginning to colour life with the warm 
glow of romance. It was a stirring epoch, and strange 
tales were passing from lip to lip. The Norman settle- 
ment proved an undoubted stimulus to the imagination of 
the lettered class in England/ and those who cared to 
listen to popular talk heard a good deal about the wonders 
and marvels of ancient Britain. William of Malmesbury, 
writing probably before Geoffrey had begun his History, 
speaks of Arthur "about whom the idle tales of the 
Britons rave."^ Geoffrey, either himself or through others, 
heard these tales from the native Welsh, and with a 
literary instinct for the romantic and the picturesque, put 
them into an ordered narrative with many embellishments 
of style. Anyone who cares to trace the hand of the de- 
liberate romancer in Geoffrey's narrative will find abundant 
matter to work upon. The description of the pomp and 

^ " In the number of the early chroniclers we have evidence that 
there was mind at work under all the stir and tumult of the Anglo- 
Norman days, and that men fastened with strong human interest on 
the apparently confused affairs of life. This quickened material 
growth, and the new freedom of contact between writers and the 
active business of the world, meant quickening of the blood of litera- 
ture. The growing mind of the nation acquired an unwonted freedom 
of movement, and the appearance of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History 
marked the beginning of a time when English intellect would begin 
to find for itself many and various forms of exercise." — Henry Morley 
{English WriterSj vol. iii, p. 53). 

^ " de quo Britonum nugae hodieque delirant" (Gesta Reŷum 
AngliaCy i, 8). These " idle tales " were doubtless stories about 
Arthur's personal prowess, his conquests and his return. Evidence 
has been already quoted (p. 13) to the fact that traditions about 
Arthur's return prevailed in Britain at the beginning of the 12th 
century at least. Even in Nennius Arthur is largely a legendary 
character. At Mount Badon he slew unaided nine hundred and 
sixty men {corruerunt in uno die nongenti sexaginta viri de uno impetu 
Arthur J et iiemo prostravit eos nisi ipse solics — § 56). In the portion of 
Nennius' History caUed De Mirabilibus Britanniae Arthur is mentioned 


ceremony and gaiety at the coronation of Arthur is 
obviously the work of an imaginative rhetorician who 
delights in his own word-painting, and who puts into 
the picture all the warmth and the colour that he 
possibly can. Caerleon was "most pleasantly situated, 
and fit for so great a ceremony ; for on one side it 
was washed by that noble river (the Usk), so that kings 
and princes from beyond the seas might have access to 
it in their ships, and ♦ on the other side it was sur- 
rounded by meadows and groves, and the magnificence 
of its royal palaces, with their lofty roofs of gold, made 
it even rival the grandeur of Rome." Again : ^* From 
another part the queen, decked out in her richest orna- 
ments, was conducted by the archbishops and bishops to 
the Temple of Virgins. The four queens of the kings 
mentioned above carried before her four white doves 
according to ancient custom. Attending upon her was 
a retinue of women, who followed in her suite with every 
demonstration of joy.'^ Caerleon had " a college of two 
hundred philosophers, learned in astronomy and other 
arts." Caius, the sewer, " in rich robes of ermine," served 
up the dishes at the banquet with the assistance of "a 
thousand young noblemen, all in like manner clothed." 
Beduer, the butler, had an equal number of attendants 
to help him serve the wine. Altogether, GeofPrey conjures 

as hunting, with his hound Cabal, the " porcus Troynt", which is the 
" Twrch Trwyth " of Kulhwch and Olwen. In Geoŵey's narrative of 
Arthur legendary matter everywhere abounds. Arthur's coronation 
at Caerleon in the presence of vassals from every part of Northern 
Europe, his dream of the Bear and the Dragon at Hamo^s port, his 
fight with the Spanish giant and with the other giant, Ritho, who 
used " to make himseK furs of the beards of the kings he had killed " 
— these, and other incidents one might mention, are beyond any 
reasonable doubt based upon popular tales, though, as I believe, in 
nearly every instance embellished and added to by Geoffrey himself. 



up in his imagination such a vision of splendour that he 
has to give up the description lest he " should draw out 
the history to a tedious length/' "For at that time 
Britain had arrived at such a pitch of grandeur, that 
in abundance of riches, luxury of ornaments, and polite- 
ness of inhabitants, it far surpassed all other kingdoms. 
The knights in it that were famous for feats of chivalry, 
wore their clothes and arms all of the same colour and 
fashion ; and the women also, no less celebrated for their 
wit, wore all the same kind of apparel ; and esteemed none 
worthy of their love, but such as had given a proof of 
their valour in three several battles. Thus was the valour 
of the men an encouragement for the women's chastity, 
and the love of the women a spur to the soldier's 
bravery."^ Again, the way in which Geoffrey weaves into 

^ Giles' Translation. In this passage we have an obvious instance 
of the influence of chivalry and its ideals, and Geoffrey could have 
found nothing quite like this in any ancient British book, although 
the chivalric idea, as Mr. Alfred Nutt has proved, was by no means 
unknown to the British Celts. He is doubtless letting his fancy 
run away with him, and incorporated in the legend of Arthur what 
he had learnt in the course of his Norman education and training. 
Although there is no reference whatever to the Round Table in 
Geoffrey, this assembling of chivalrous knights at Arthur's court is 
an anticipation of the idea, and had doubtless much to do with 
suggesting the fuller conception to Wace and subsequent writers. 
In the old Welsh romance of Kulhwch and Ohoen, which is of capital 
importance in any discussion of Arthurian origins, Arthur appears 
as the central figure of a group of knights and princes, whose exploits 
are performed under his auspices. In this story, which appears to be 
purely British, Arthur is the " sovereign Ruler of this Island ", and 
presides at a court, where Kai, Bedwyr, Gwythyr, Geraint, and a 
host of other traditional celebrities of Britain are gathered. So long, 
indeed, is the list that, as Professor Rhys says, " it looks as if the 
story-teller had set himself the task of swelling Arthur's train by 
introducing into it all kinds of possible and impossible persons and 
personifications he could think of" {Arthurian Legend^ p. 5). It 
would be rash, perhaps, to suggest that Geoffrey knew anything of 


his narrative legends derived from documentary or oral 
sources attests the hand of the conscious artist. In the 
De Mirdbilihus Britanniaey which constitutes the seventh 
section of Nennius' Historia Britonvm,^ we find certain 
wonders mentioned which GeofiErey has adroitly inserted in 
diflPerent parts of his History. Arthur leads his army 
into Scotland, and in the course of his marches comes, 
or GeofiErey conveniently brings him, to Loch Lomond.^ 
So the first wonder recorded by Nennius is brought into 
the narrative, and ^^ extended". "The lake contains sixty 
islands, and receives sixty rivers into it, which empty 
themselves into the sea by no more than one mouth ; there 
£S also an equal number of rocks in these islands, as also 
of eagles' nests in those rocks, which flocked together 
there every year, and iyy the loud and general noise which 
they now made^ forboded some remarkable event that should 
happen to the kingdom.^^ The last words do not occur in 
Nennius, and are manifestly interpolated by Geoffrey for 
the purpose of linking the portents with his own story. 

the romance of Kulhioch and Olwen, but it is noteworthy that several 
Arthurian details^ more especially names both of persons and of 
places, are common to Geoffrey and to the Welsh story. The Dream 
of lüionabtoyy also, as indigenous a Welsh tale as Kulhioch and Olwen, 
contains many names of men and places mentioned in Geoffrey's 
History. One of the chief incidents in Kulhwch and Ohoen is the 
hunting of the Twrch Trwyth, which, curiously enough, Nennius 
mentions, but Geoffrey does not. Professor Rhys observes that 
"the way in which the romance writers endeavour to form a 
court for Arthur reminds one of the collecting of Irish heroes 
round Conchobar mac Nessa, and especially of the Norse literature 
of the Wicking period organizing a great Valhalla for Woden by 
bringing the scattered Anses to live together" {Arthurian Legend, 
p. 5). In the case of Geoffrey it is more probable that he, like 
most of the Arthurian fabulists of his time, was stimulated by 
the stories of Charlemagne and of Alexander to make of Arthur the 
head of a great court and a military conqueror of European repute. 
^ Book ix, ch. 6. 


The marvels of Loch Lomond suggest those of another 
lake in the same province ^* still more wonderful", and 
of yet another in Wales called Linligwan — both of which 
are included in the Mirahilia of Nennius. In his descrip- 
tion of Arthur's accoutrements previous to the battle in 
which the British king **with his Calibum alone killed 
four hundred and seventy men," GeofiErey draws a picture 
of which Nennius and British tradition supply the details, 
and to which his own imagination gives the colouring and 
the general eflPect.^ " And Arthur himself, having donned 
a coat of mail worthy of so great a king, placed upon his 
head a helmet of gold on which was engraven the figure 
of a dragon. And on his shoulders he placed the shield 
called Priwen'*; upon it was a picture of the blessed 
Mary, mother of Grod, which kept him continually in 
remembrance of her.^ Then girding on Calibum,* 
his excellent sword forged in the island of Avallon, 
he graced his right hand with his lance, which was 
called Eon,* and a hard and huge lance it was, well 
adapted for slaughter." Many other passages could easily 
be cited in which the deliberate romancer is equally 
evident. I have only space to mention one further 
instance. In the earlier parts of his chronicle Geoffrey 
seeks to date his narrative by gravely recording contemp- 

^ Book ix, ch. 4. 

^ The names of Arthur's weapons are found in Kulhtcch and Olwen 
and were doubtless current in popular tradition in Geoffrey's time. 
Ilis shield is there called ** Wjniebgwrthucher", his sword " Caled- 
fwlch," and his lance " Rhongomyant." 

'•* Cp. NenniiiSj § »59. " Octavum fuit bellum in castello Guinnion, in 
quo Arthur portavit imaginem sanctae Mariae perpetuae virginis super 
humeros suos." Cp. also Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Sonnets, i, 10. 
" Amazement runs before the towering casque 
Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field 
The Virgin sculptured on his Christian shield." 


oraneous events in sacred and profane history. In this, 
of course, he was only following the practice of other 
chroniclers, Nennius himself being of their number ; but 
it is Geoffrey's way of doing it that gives him away. For 
example, at the time Guendolena, after a reign of fifteen 
years, handed over the sceptre to her son Maddan, ^ 
"Samuel the prophet," we read, "governed in Judaea, 
Sylvius Aeneas was still living, and Homer was esteemed 
a famous orator and poet." Again, at Mount Paladur 
(Shaftesbury),* "an eagle spoke while the wall of the 
town was being built," — so the narrative runs, and we 
can well imagine the wi'iter chuckling to himself as he 
continued, — ^^and indeed I should have transmitted the 
speech to posterity, had I thought it true, like the rest 
of this history. At this time Haggai, Amos, Joel and 
Azariah were prophets in Israel." 

Geoffrey's History belongs to the literature of romance, 
and he himself, though he masquerades in the form and 
fashion of a chronicler, to the gay band of medieval 
romancers. It was from romancers and poets that he had 
in after times the most generous welcome, though many 
serious writers of history came to accept his narrative as 
truth. For a time his audacious book was anathema to 
formal and traditional historians, but all lovers of the 
marvellous and the romantic hailed it as a portent from 
the first. It became at once a potent fount of literary 
inspiration. Geoffrey Gaimar forthwith translated it 
into Anglo-Norman verse,^ to be followed later by Wace, 

^ Book ii, ch. 6. 2 Book ii, ch. 9. 

^ See note to p. 25. No copies of Gaimar's version are now known 
to exists but four MSS. of his rhymed chronicle of Anglo-Saxon and 
Norman kings remain. This chronicle has been edited and translated 
by Duffus-Hardy in the Rolls Series. 


and by the English poet Layamon^ both of whom added 
a good deal of new matter to Geoffrey's narrative.^ 
In the late thirteenth century Eobert of Grloucester 
follows him in his rhymed Chronicle of England^ and a long 
succession of chroniclers, English and Welsh, from Eoger 
of Wendover and Matthew Paris to Fabyan and Holinshed 
and Theophilus Evans, pass on his fables as authentic 
history.^ The history of GreoflPrey's literary influence is, in 
itself, a subject of vast extent and, especially to a student 
of English literature, of peculiar interest. Two hundred 
years after his death his repute was such that, on the 
strength of his contribution to the tale of Troy, Chaucer 

^ Wace does not add so much to Geoffrey's story as Layamon, but 
he is the first writer who actually mentions " the Table Round, of 
which the Bretons tell many a fable." {Roman de Bruty 9994.) 
Some have found in the peerage of Charlemagne the origin of 
the idea of the Arthurian fellowship of knights, while others 
deny any connection between them, and find in the concep- 
tions that underlie them differences which place the two cycles 
of Arthur and Charlemagne fundamentally apart {vide Ormsby in 
" Chambers's EncyclopsBdia" imder Romance). The idea of a table was 
derived, most likely, from a primitive Celtic source. Layamon's 
additions evidently embody many popular traditions, which, as a West 
countryman, he obtained from Cymric sources. Sir Frederic Madden, 
in his edition of Layamon's Brut^ writes : — " That Layamon was 
indebted for some of these legends to Welsh traditions not recorded 
in Geoffrey of Monmouth or Wace is scarcely to be questioned, and 
they supply an additional argument in favour of the opinion that the 
former was not a mere inventor. Many circumstances incidentally 
mentioned by Layamon are to be traced to a British origin as, for 
instance, the notice of Queen Judon's death, the mention of Taliesin 
and his conference with Kinbelin, the traditionary legends relative to 
Arthur, the allusions to several prophecies of Merlin, and the names 
of various personages which do not appear in the Latin or French 

^ It would be interesting to have a full list of the chroniclers who 
follow Geoffrey's narrative. Among them, at any rate, are Roger of 
Wendover, Matthew Paris, Matthew of Westminster, Peter Langtoft, 
Ralph Higden, John Harding, Fabyan, Grafton, and Holinshed. 


gives him a place in his " Hous of Fame". With Homer, 
and Statins, and Dares, and Lollius, and Guido de Colonna, 
" EngUsh Gauf ride" 

"Was besy for to here up Troye."^ 

Passing from the chroniclers to the poets, we find pre- 
eminent among those who follow him Sir Thomas Malory, 
who by his noble gift of style and his deft selection and 
arrangement of a mass of romantic matter has given us 
what still remains the greatest English epic of Arthur. In 
Elizabethan times the History had a great attraction for 
poets, playwrights and scholars. Though Camden brings 
up his heavy artillery to demolish the claims of Geoffrey's 
fables to rank as history, that does not prevent poets like 
Warner'* and Drayton'^ from giving them a new currency 
in spirited verse. Drayton even argues for Geoffrey's good 
faith {Polyolbion^ Song x) — 

"That GeoSrej Monmouth, first, our Brutus did devise, 
Not heard of till his time our adversary says ; 
When pregnantly we prove, ere that historian's days 
A thousand ling'ring years, our prophets clearly sung 
The Britain-founding Brute," &c. 

and regrets that so mighty a national hero as Arthur has 
found no British Homer to sing his deeds. 

" For some abundant brain, oh, there had been a story. 
Beyond the blind man's might to have enhanced our glory." 

The first English tragedy, Gorhoduc, is founded upon one 
of Geoffrey's legends, as is the pseudo-Shakespearian 
Locrine, Through Holinshed Geoffrey reaches a hand to 
Shakespeare himself, and receives from Lear and Cymbeline 

^ Hoits of FamCy iii, 1465. 

^ AlbioTi's England^ by William Warner, perpetuates many of 
Geoffrey's legends. 
^ In his PolyoWimi. 


that usurious interest which the great dramatist pays upon 
all his borrowings. Spenser, in his pursuit of allegory 
and "the morall vertues", has departed far from the 
original story of Arthur, yet he pauses to give in due 
order a rhymed history of the British kings as told by 
GeofiErey. He tells Elizabeth that there is "argument 
worthy of Mseonian quill " in the story of 

"Thy fathers and great grandfathers of old, 
Whose noble deeds above the Northern starre, 
Immortall fame for ever hath enroled ; 
As in that old man's booke they were in order told."^ 

The History was a favourite book of Milton's, who in 
his early years married to immortal verse the 

" Virgin, daughter of Locrine, 
Sprung of old Anchises' line," 

and who even while the mighty fabric of Paradise Lost 
was building in his imagination was still haunted by 
memories of 

"What resounds 
In fable or romance of Uther's son 
Begirt with British and Armoric knights." 

In our own time Tennyson and Swinburne keep up the 
succession. For while Tennyson chose to make " a modern 
gentleman, of stateliest port" of 

"that gray king, whose name, a ghost. 
Streams like a cloud, man-shaped, from mountain peak, 
And cleaves to cairn and cromlech still," 

he remains a debtor to GeofiErey for much old lore about 
names and places. Swinburne goes straight to Greofifrey 

^ Faerie Qtieeney II, canto x. The entire canto is 

"A chronicle of Briton kings 
From Brute to Uthers rayne," 
closely following Geoffrey. 


for his matter in his tragedy of Locrine. He is apt, indeed, 
to depreciate these " wan legends " of Britain as compared 
with those of Greece and of Rome. 

" Dead fancy's ghost, not living fancy's wraith, 
Is now the storied sorrow that survives 
Faith in the record of these lifeless lives." 

Yet, there are compensations — he who feels the charm of 
these stories is in good company. 

"Yet Milton's sacred feet have lingered there, 
His lips have made august the fabulous air." 

Behind the question of "the British booK'^ and of 
Geoffrey's immediate sources lies the greater question 
of the origin of what French writers have called la matière 
de Bretagne. ^ I have not the space, even had I the 
temerity, to enter into so extensive and complicated a 
subject within the limits of the present paper.^ An 
attempt has already been made to show that GeofiErey, 

^ The term owes its origin to Jean Bodel, author of the late 
twelfth century Chanson des Saisnes. 

"Ne sont que trois matières à nul home entendant; 
De France, et de Bretaigne, et de Rome la grant." 

^ No really complete and satisfactory book, containing a full survey 
of the subject up to date, exists. A popular resume of the literature 
of the subject will be found in the chapter on "The Matter of 
Britain " in Professor Saintsbury's volume on The Flourishing of 
Romance and the Rise of Allegory (W. Blackwood & Sons, 1897). 
Professor Saintsbury, however, while constantly disclaiming his com- 
petence to speak of Celtic literature, writes with a palpable anti- 
Celtic bias. The different theories held as to the Arthurian origins 
are briefly stated and discussed by Professor Rhys in the final chapter 
of his Arthurian Legend^ and by M. Joseph Loth in an article Des 
nouvelles theories sur Torigine des romans arthuriens in the Revue 
Celtique for 1892. The introductory chapters of Prof. Maccallum's 
book on TennysorHs Idylls and Arthurian Story contain an admirable 
survey of the literary history of the legend, to which I particularly 
wish to express my obligations. 


whether he had any "book in the British tongue" to draw 
from or not, undoubtedly made use of popular British 
traditions. Contemporary evidence proves that these 
traditions were spread abroad in the twelfth century by 
troops of story-tellers and wandering minstrels. Wace, 
for instance, "tells his readers that the fableor' or story- 
tellers had so elaborated their stories about Arthur that 
they had succeeded in making even what might be true 
seem to be of their own fabling." ^ The controversy 
about the matter of Britain turns chiefly around the 
question who these story-tellers were, and whence they 
derived their material. M. Gaston Paris ^ holds that they 
were Welshmen, that many of them found their way into 
England even before the Norman conquest, and that, after 
that event, several crossed over to the Continent. The 
Welsh origin of the early Arthurian legends is also main- 
tained by two other Frenchmen, MM. Joseph Loth and 
Ferdinand Lot, and Mr. Alfred Nutt has added much 
suggestive matter to the evidence on the same side. 
Different theories have been advanced by Zimmer, Foerster 
and others in Germany. Zimmer is the great advocate of 
the Armorican or Breton origin of the legend. Not that 
he denies that the historical Arthur was Welsh, or that 
the evidence of place-names links his name to many 
localities in Great Britain. His main argument is that 
Arthur grew to be the legendary hero we find him in 
Geoffrey, for instance, in the imagination of the Armori- 
can Britons. His discussion of the etymology of some of 
the name forms in Geoffrey is of considerable importance 

^ Rhys, Arthurian Legend, p. 371. 

^ See Histoire littéraire de la France XXX (Paris 1888), pp. 1-22. 
M. Paris has also contributed several articles on the subject to 
Romania and other periodicals. 


in its bearing upon the question of GeoflPrey's sources.* 
Foerster even goes further, and in his introduction to 
Chretien de Troyes' Erec maintains that Chretien has not 
derived his matter from British sources at all, but has only 
given British names and localities to fictions of his own or 
to traditions picked up by him on the continent. He also 
tries to prove that the manners and customs, and especially 
the sentiment of chivalry, as found in Chretien, are French 
and quite unknown to the Celts of Great Britain. The 
latter line of argument has been combated with much 
spirit and learning by Mr. Alfred Nutt, who brings up 
abundant evidence from Irish and Welsh sources to the 
effect that the chivalric ideal, carried sometimes to extra- 
vagant lengths, prevailed among the British Celts. ^ The 

^ Zimmer's articles on the subject will be found in the Göttingische 
gelehrte Anzeigen, 1890, pp. 488-Ö28 and 785-832, and in the Zeitschrift 
fur franzosische Sprache ttnd LitteratuTy Bd. xii, pp. 231-56 
(" Bretonische Elemente in der Arthursage des Gottfried von Mon- 
mouth "). Vide also a long article in the latter periodical, Bd. xiii, 
1-117, " Beiträge zur Namenforschung in den altfranzosischen 
Arthurepen." M. Ferdinand Lot traverses several of Ilerr Zimmer's 
contentions in Romania^ vols, xxiv and xxv, " Etudes sur la provenance 
du cycle Arthurien," and again in Romania, xxvii and xxviii. The 
last of these articles, on " La Patrie des 'Lais Bretons*" (January 1899), 
is of considerable interest to students of Geoffrey. In the Revue 
Celtique for 1892 M. Joseph Loth also assails the theories of Zimmer. 

^ Vide Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail, final chapter, and 
Folk-Lore, vol. ii {Les derniers travaux allemands et la legende du 
Saint-Graaljf and vol. iii (Celtic Myth and Saga J. In a useful little 
tract, already referred to, on Celtic and Mediaeval Romance, Mr. Nutt 
maintains that the Arthurian legend had "a double mode of 
transmission throughout the French-speaking world : — oral, through 
the medium of Breton minstrels ; written, through the medium of 
Welsh texts." *' Some scholars," says Mr. Nutt, " have held that to 
the oral diffusion of the Arthur legend by Breton minstrels is wholly 
due its spread throughout France, and that the French romance- 
writers took from their Breton informants little more than a mass of 
names and a few skeleton plots, furnishing themselves the detailed 


investigation of the origin of all the various strata of the 
Arthurian matter involves, of course, problems which do 
not properly belong to a study of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 
History. The controversy, in so far as it concerns 
Geoffrey, turns on the meaning, already discussed, of the 
words Britannia, Britones, etc., and on the evidence afforded 
by the forms of the proper names in his text. Zimmer 
maintains, as against Loth and Lot, that the more signifi- 
cant of these names are distinctly Breton rather than 
Welsh in their form. As Mr. Nutt observes,^ ^^ Welsh 
philologists can do much to explain the Onomasticon 
Arthv/ria/numy^^ and a new critical edition of the text of 
Geoffrey may be of some assistance to those whose learn- 
ing qualifies them to deal with this difficult branch of the 

Here, again, as in the controversy about the existence 
of ^^ the British book", the truth will probably be found 
somewhere in the middle. " The matter of Britain " is 
doubtless common to all the so-called Celtic peoples ; they 
all had it in germ, more or less. Wales, Cornwall, Brittany 
and, to a lesser extent, Ireland, all contributed their quota 
to the mass of Arthurian tradition. Is it really woiẅ 
while to quarrel as to the exact share in this common 
heritage possessed by the different branches of a kindred 
race ? The Britons of this island, the direct ancestors of 
the Welsh people, undoubtedly possessed the historical 
Arthur. The legendary Arthur grew in the imagination 
alike of the Britons of Wales, of Cornwall, of Armorica. 

incident, the form, and the animating spirit. But we can detect a 
written as well as an oral transmission. Many of the names in the 
French romances not only betray the fact of their derivation from a 
written source, but also that this must have been in the Welsh rather 
than in the Breton form of the common Brythonic tongue " (p. 9). 
^ Preface to Studies on the Legend of the Holy Grail, 


We need not in this matter be too anxious to cut up the 
all too slender Celtic fringe. Rather let each branch of 
the Celtic race be allowed to rejoice in its title to. be 
held a contributor to so splendid a monument of poetry 
and romance as perpetuates the memory of Arthur. For 
he, rex quondam rexqiie futurusy transfigured by the subliijie 
dream of his return, stands as the symbol of the hope, 
inevitably futile perhaps but ever resurgent, of the Celtic 
people. Cherishing their ancient institutions and their 
pride of birth, they ever look forward to some brighter 

" Still nursing the unconquerable hope, 
Still clutching the inviolable shade." 

It may be somewhat fanciful to find in the Arthurian 
legend the impress of the character and the destiny of the 
Celtic races. But it is curious that alike in the history of 
those races and in the fable of Arthur we find imagination 
fed and fostered upon dreams of a prowess that has departed 
and of a glory that is to come. The hope of "renascence" 
— soiled though the word has been by much ignoble use 
— does, after all, dwell with a strange vitality in the 
Celtic breast. Just as the Celt exaggerates the past 
achievements of his race, so does he ever love to view the 
future through the glamour of a splendid though vague 
expectation. ^^ Arthur's return" is to him the symbol of 
the deathless spirit of Celtic nationality. Of Art;hur the 
bards are still left to sing " unknown is his grave." 

" Sun, rain, and sun ! and where is he who knows ? 
From the great deep to the great deep he goes." 

One thing, however, we do know, and it is something 
actual and tangible for the Celtic peoples to take pride in 
— that the legend lives, and will live, as the enduring 
bequest of the Celtic imagination to the literature of the 



Gan ISAAC FOULKES (Llyfrhryf), 


Testtn hyn o ysgrif ydyw "Argraphwyr, Cyhoeddwyr, a 
Llyfr-werthwyr Cymru ". Wrth hyn golygir pob galwedig- 
aeth sydd ar waith yn ngyhoeddiad Uyfr, o'i awdwr i'r 
llyfrwerthwr. Gwelir ar unwaith eangder y maes, a'r 
amhosiblrwydd i undyn ymdrin mewn papyr brysiog fel 
hyn, ond a chongl fach ohono. Ond pa gongl ? Wedi 
cryn betrusder dewisais y gongl agosaf ataf ; y gongl y 
gwn f wyaf am dani oddiar adnabyddiaeth bersonol, ac y 
tybiaf y gwyr eraill lai na mi. Mae hanes y maes mawr a 
dyddorol hwn heb ei ysgrifenu eto, yn disgwyl megys am 
ei hanesydd ; a charwn, trwy yr ychydig sylwadau hyn, 
roddi help llaw iddo. Hwyrach fel argraphydd agos i 
haner cant oed, ac un wedi ymhela a hoU ganghenau'r 
alwedigaeth y bydd fy mhrofiad o ryw werth i'r Henry 
Curwen neu y William Roberts Cymreig, pan gyfyd rhyw 
Gymro cyffelyb i'r ddau Sais mednis hyn, i ddodi a'r gof a 
chadw, a chyflawni yr un gymwynas a darllenwyr Cymreig 
ag a wnaethant hwy a Uengarwyr Seisnig. 

^ Read before the Honourable Society of Cjrmmrodorion at 20 
Hanover Square, on Wednesday the 19th of April, 1899; Chairman, 
Mr. William Jones, M.P. 



Caniatewch i mi felly ddechreu gyda mi fy hun, neu yn 
hytrach fy hen feistr — fy nghyfarwyddwr yn y greflPt — 

Isaac Clarke 

o Ruthin, ac fel y bo amser yn caniatau awn ymlaen 
at eraill. Brodor o Bont Bleddyn ger y Wyddgrug 
oedd Mr. Clarke. Dysgodd ei grefiEt gyda Hugh Jones yn 
y dref hono, ac yna daeth i arolygu argraphdy bychan yn 
Rhuthin i weddw o'r enw Mrs. Maddocks. Ni bu yn y 
swydd hono yn hir na chydsyniodd a chais amryw o'i 
gyfeillion i godi masnach ei hun. Mewn parlwr lied fawr 
i dy annedd, yn gwynebu ar y Wynnstay Arms, y cododd 
Clarke ei achos i fynu gyntaf . Nid oedd ganddo ond un 
wasg, Double Crown Columòian fel ei gelwir, a rhyw 
bymtheg neu ugain o wahanol rywogaethau o lyth'renau, 
rhai ohonynt yn lied gryfion at argrafifu Uyfrau. Yr oedd 
yn swyddf a f ach gryno wedi ei dethol yn of alus gan ddyn 
o chwaeth argraphyddol, a'i phrynu bron i gyd gan Besley 
o Lunden, ffirm a gynrychiolir yn awr gan gwmni Syr 
Charles Reed. Yn fuan daeth John Roberts, yr Alman- 
aciwr o Gaergybi ar ei bererindod yno, a thariodd am rai 
misoedd yn tori Uyth'renau coed, ac yn cadw ei gorphyn 
hirfain yn Uaith gyda diod y gwesty gyferbyn. Ond 
daeth yr amser i wneud Almanac Caergybi at y flwyddyn 
ganlynol, a gadawodd John Roberts Ddyffryn Clwyd am 
Ynys Cybi, i efrydu'r ser a'r planedau, ac i ragfynegi 
yr hin am y deuddeg mis dyfodol wrth ei gydwladwyr 

Y llyfr cyntaf a argrafiEodd ac a gyhoeddodd Mr. Clarke 
oedd Ceinion Alun, sef barddoniaeth a Uythyrau John 
Blackwell (1851) hawl-ysgrif yr hwn a brynodd gan unig 
chwaer y bardd — Tabitha Eirkham — yr hon gyda' i phriod 
oeddynt yn cadw gwartheg ac yn gwerthu Uaeth yn Stryt 
Llanrhudd. Hi oedd unig chwaer Blackwell ac efe oedd 


ei hunig frawd hithau. Iddi hi a'i theulu y gadawodd efe 
ei dipyn arìan^ a^r arian hyny a'i galluogodd i gychwyn yn 
masnach y llaeth ; ond nid oedd Uaethdy yn Rhuthin 
haner can mlynedd yn ol yn talu cystal a Uaethdy yn 
Llunden y dyddiau hyn! Aeth y gwartheg yn llai eu 
nifer, darfu'r llaeth, a hendwr i Tabitha Kirkham druan 
oedd cael tipyn arian hawl-ysgrif Ceirdon Alwn^ yr hyn 
a dderbyniai yn ddiolchgar er yn ddognau lied fychan, 
canys nid oedd Clarke yn graig o arian mwy na rhai o'i 
brentisiaid ar ei ol. 

Mae rhestr ei danysgrifwyr i Oeinion Alun yn brawf 
iddo wneud ychydig arian oddiwrth yr anturiaeth, yr hyn 
a'i cyfiawnhaodd i ymgymeryd ag anturiaethau eraill na 
fuont hwyrach inor llwyddianus. Ond yr oedd gan fy hen 
feistr chwaeth lenyddol dda, a Uygad masnachol lied glir 
ar y cyfan, fel y dengys y lyfrau a gyhoeddodd, megys 
OriauW Hwyr ac OriauW Boreu Ceiriog, rhai o lyfrau 
cerddorol ei gymydog J. D. Jones, ac yn enwedig Gems of 
Welsh Melody Owain Alaw. Prynodd music type at y 
gwaith hwn a chysododd ef ei hun, prawf ei fod yn ddyn 
celfydd, canys y mae gosod pob bar o fiwsic fel dadrys 
un o broblemau Euclid. Gwerthodd y Gems yn rhagorol, 
gwnaeth y cyhoeddwr yn ddiau elw da oddiwrtho, ac y 
mae'n dal i werthu eto gan Mri. Hughes o Wrecsam. 
Felly hefyd y darfu dau lyfr cyntaf Ceiriog, am y rhai 
y talodd y cyhoeddwr, £10 am OriauW Hwyvy a £15 am 
Oriau^r Boreu. 

Ond collodd Mr. Clarke ei heulen o Iwyddiant. Amlach 
y gwelid ef ar Ian yr afon Glwyd yn ceisio dal pysgod, 
nag yn ei swyddfa yn ceisio dal cwsmeriaid, ac yn symera 
fel udganydd gyda'r Cavalry nag yn udganu ei glodydd ei 
hun aU lyfrau, yn ol defod dda ac arfer pob cyhoeddwr 
llwyddianus er dechreuad yr alwedigaeth gyhoeddiadol. 
Bu farw Ebrill 5, 1875 yn 61 mlwydd oed. 



Gradewch ini gymeryd y dref nesaf i Ruthin, a chael 
gair neu ddau am 

Thomas Gee. 

Sylfaenydd y wasg adnabyddus, hen, ac anrhydeddus 

hon, ydoedd tad y Mr. Gee a adwaenem ni ac a fu farw 

ddeunaw mis yn ol. Brodor o Gaerlleon oedd y Thomas 

Gee cyntaf yr hwn, gyda Eobert Saunderson o'r Bala, 

a John Brown o Fangor, a ddysgasant eu crefFt ar yr un 

pryd yn swyddfa W. CoUister Jones yn Nghaer. Os 

trowch chwi i wyneb-ddalen y Drysorfa Ysprydol yn 

nechreu y ganrif , chwi a welwch mai Mr. CoUister Jones 

oedd yn ei hargraphu. Ond, oblegyd anghjrfleusdra gwasg 

bell, cododd Mr. Charles wasg yn ei ymyl yn y Bala, ac 

aeth Mr. Saunderson yno fel y prif weithiwr yn 1803, 

a phan fu farw Mr. Charles prynodd y swyddfa gan ei 

dwyn ymlaen yn llwyddianus hyd nes y bu farw. Argraph- 

wyd amryw lyfrau pwysig gan Mr. Saunderson megys 

Oeiriadur Charles; ac yma yr argreffid y Gwyliedydd o'r 

rhifyn cyntaf i'r olaf . Cerir gwaith argraphydd ymlaen 

yn yr un adeilad hyd y dydd hwn. Aeth Mr. Brown 

i Fangor a bu am lawer iawn o flynyddau yn cyhoeddi ac 

yn argraphu y North Wales Chronicle. Derbyniodd Thomas 

Gee alwad y Parch. Thomas Jones awdwr enwog y 

Merthyrdraethy a chyfieithydd Llyfr Gurnal ^^ Y Cristion 

mewn cyflawn arfogaeth ", — dau lyfr a fuont yn dra 

phoblogaidd am oesau, ac nad ydynt eto wedi colli eu 

bias i genedl y Cymry. Yr oedd Mr. Jones ar y pryd 

yn byw yn Ehuthin, ac yno y gosododd ei swyddfa i fynu. 

Daeth Mr. Gee ato yn 1808, ond yn 1809, symudodd Mr. 

Jones ei swyddfa a'i weithwyr i Ddinbych. Y mae'r 

adeilad a drodd Mr. Jones yn argraphdy yn Ehuthin yn 

dal i fynu eto, ac i'w weled yn muarth yr Antelope, 

Penbarras. Yn union ar ol cyrhaedd Dinbych prynodd 

Mr. Gee y swyddfa a dechreuodd yn f uan gynysgaeddu y 




Cyinry a llyf rau ; ac ni f u odid ball ar y llyf rau a ddaeth 
o'r Glwydian Press , fel ei gelwir, o 1809 hyd 1899, cyfnod 
hir o gant namyn deng mlynedd. 

Mab liynaf Thomas Gee y Cyntaf oedd Thomas Gree yr 
Ail y bu y wlad yn galaru ar ei ol yn ddiweddar. 
Ganwyd ef yn 1815; cafodd addysg dda; dechreuodd 
weithio yi) swyddfa ei dad pan yn 13 mlwydd oed, a 
chymerodd ei hoU ofal pan yn ddeunaw oed. Tmunodd 
a'i dad fel cyd-gyfranogydd, a bu yn foddion i eangu'r 
fasnach, nes y daeth, ac yr erys ar rai golygon, y swyddfa 
gyhoeddi ac argraphu Gymraeg fwyaf yn Nghymru. Yr 
oedd Mr. Thomas Gee yr Ail mor Uawn o yspryd 
anturiaethus fel y cyhoeddodd y Gwyddioniadur, yr hwn 
a gwblhawyd mewn deg cyfrol drwehus; a bu galwad 
mor fawr am dano fel y dygwyd ail argraphiad diwygiadol 
allan bedair neu bum mlynedd yn ol. Amser a ballai imi 
nodi y Uyfrau trymion a ddaeth o wasg Mr. Gee yn ystod 
yr haner canrif ddiweddaf, heblaw y newyddiaduron — y 
ddwy Faner — a^r cylch-gronau, megys cyfrolau cyntaf y 
Traethodydd a'r Geiniogwerth — cyhoeddiadau na bu gan 
lenyddiaeth yr un wlad eu rhagorach. Un o'r dynion 
mwyaf anturiaethus a fu erioed yn Nghymru oedd Mr. Gee 
gyda' i fasnach cystal a phethau eraill. Hyn oedd ei 
nerth; hyn hefyd oedd ei wendid, oblegid nid yw 
ttwyddiant bob amser yn dilyn anturiaeth. 

Yn 1842 ymunodd ei fab Mr. Howell Gee a'r fasnach, ac 
efe sydd yn ei dwyn ymlaen yn bresenol. Ni fuasai cenedl 
y Cymry yr hyn ydyw yn awr yn Uenyddol na chym- 
deithasol oni buasai am y Clwydian Press ; a hir y parhao 
i ledaenu ei dylanwad iachus yn mysg ein cenedl. 


o Lansannan. Tin o brif lyfr-werthwyr Mr. Gee a 
chyhoeddwyr llyf rau Cymraeg eraill ei oes ef , oedd Eobert 


Davies o Lansannan. Cadw ystorfa fechan o lyfrau yn y 
Llan gwledig yr ydoedd ran f awr o'i oes, rhwymo Uyf rau 
yn gryf ac yn wladaidd, a myn'd oddiamgylch y wlad i 
werthu Uyfrau ; felly yr enillai ef ei fywoliaeth, a 
bywoliaeth anrhydeddus ydoedd, deilwng o barch a 
chlod mawr. Tr oedd yn hen lane, ac yn fanwl o 
gywir a gonest yn ei fasnach: yn lienor gwych, yn 
ddarllenwr mawr, ac wedi meistroli cystrawen yr iaith a 
rheolau'r gynghanedd. Efe oedd athraw barddonol y 
diweddar Doctor William Eees (Gwilym HiraethogJ ac y 
mae y dyn a'r bardd godidog hwnw yn cyfeirio ato fel y 
canlyn yn yr Hunan-Gofiant sydd ar ddechreu Ganiadau 
Hiraethog : 

Yr un a fu yn offerynol gyntaf i dueddu fy meddwl yn y ffordd hon 
(barddoniaeth) ydoedd R. ab Dafydd (Robert Davies) o'r Gilfach 
Lwyd, Llansannan, yr hwn oedd i ni yn gymydog agos ; a chanddo 
drysorfa led gyfoethog o Ij^rau Cymreig, henafiaeth a barddoniaeth ; 
a'r hwn oedd yn dra hyddysg yn ngramadeg yr iaith a rheolau bar- 
ddoniaeth. Cyrchwn at fy nghyfaill R. Davies bob cyfleusdra a gawn, 
i ddarllen ei lyfrau ac i dderbyn ei addysgiadau. Ewyllysiai ef wneud 
bardd ohonof ; ond cafodd waith caled i'm dysgyblu cyn y gallai hyd 
jni oed gynyrchu unrhyw awydd ynof at y gelfyddyd ; a gwaith 
calettach na hyny drachefu i'm haddysgu i ddeall rheolau ac adnabod 
beiau gwaharddedig cerdd dafod ; bum *yn hir " fel Ho heb gynefino 
a'r iau". Athraw Uym-fanwl oedd R. Davies ; nid oedd trugaredd na 
maddeuant i'w cael ganddo am wall gramadegol neu gynghaneddol ; 
dwrdiodd fi yn erwin-dcfct lawer tro am wallau felly. Byddwn yn 
arswydo wrth fyned a chyfansoddiad i'w ddangos iddo ; ond yr oedd 
fy nghynydd graddol yn peri iddo f awr foddhad ; a chredaf yn ddilys 
bod llwyddiant fy anturiaeth gystadleuol yn Aberhonddu (pan eniUodd 
Hiraethog y wobr am ei gjrwydd ardderchog ar Frwydr Trafalgar) 
wedi peri cymaint o lawenydd i feddwl fy athraw ag a barodd i mi fy 

Dyna dystiolaeth uchel un o brif-feirdd Cymru i un a 
fu o fendith anrhaethol i'w genedl mewn cwr gwledig, pan 
oedd y tywyllwch yn ddu o'i hamgylch a phrinder gwy- 
bodaeth yn y ffurf o lyfrau yn ddifrifol. Cafodd yr hen 
lane cymhenllyd a gwastad fyw i oedran mawr. Yr oedd 


ei dy yn y Llan yn gyrchf an-min-nos gwyr meddylgar y 
fro. Cymerodd yn ei ben yn 1854 i gadw Dyddlyfr, a 
daliodd ati am dair neu bedair blynedd. Cefais un or 
Uyfrau hyn yn anrheg gan hen gymydog iddo rai misoedd 
yn ol. Cynwysa rai or pethau hynotaf a fu erioed mewn 
Dyddlyfr. Anfynych yr elai'r hen fachgen tros y trothwy 
i gapel nac eglwys ; ond yr oedd ganddo gydwybod dyner. 
Dyma nodyn sydd ganddo gogyfer a Sul y Drindod 1857 ; 
" Pechais heddyw trwy werthu rhan 1 a 2 o'r Gyclopcedia 
y ddwy ran am Is. 6c. i D. Jones Allt Ddu ; a choUais o fy 
ymyl yn y Uofft, Dictionary Titus Lewis, am fy ngwaith 
pechadurus". Mewn man arall ceir y nodiad hwn; 
" Heddyw y cefais ffiolaid o flawd ceirch o Ty'n y Mynydd 
am Í8. 8c. ac addewid am un arall wedi ei phobi am Is. 10c." 
Fe welir oddiwrth hyn fod yr hen lyfr-werthwr gonest yn 
gofalu am ei gorph, ei ddeall, a'i yspryd. Pan fantolir y 
cyf rif mawr nid wyf yn meddwl y bydd Eobert ap Dafydd 
o Lansannan yn mhell ar ol ei gymydogion mwjniach eu 
lleferydd ac uwch eu harddeliad. 

Hughes o Wrecsam. 

Dywedais mai Mri. Hughes o Wrecsam a brynodd hawl- 
ysgrifau Mr. Clarke. Danfonodd y cyfreithwyr yn 
methdaliad Clarke atynt yn gofyn am gynyg ar y copy- 
rights ; a daeth Mr. Charles Hughes trosodd, pan y tarawyd 
bargen, sef £100 am yr hawl-ysgrifau a^r stereos oedd yn 
perthyn iddynt. Rywsut clybu'r methdalwr am y fargen, 
a chyn y cyrhaeddodd Mr. Hughes i'r argraphdy i hawlio 
ei eiddo, yr oedd y ffwrnais wedi ei phoethi, a phlatiau y 
Gems of Welsh Melody^ gwerth o gwbl agos i £100 wedi eu 
bwrw iddi, a thoddi yn Uymed o^i mewn. Y ffordd y 
cysonai Mr. Clarke y weithred ryfedd hon hefo'i dipyn 
cydwybod oedd dweyd fod gan yr Huwsiaid ddigon o arian. 


ac y rhoddaì ail osod j gerddoriaeth waith am rai misoedd 
i rhyw brintar anghenus. 

Hen flfirm anrhydeddus ydyw un Grwrecsam a chy- 
hoeddodd fwy o lyfrau Cymraeg na^r un arall yn yr 
amser aeth heibio. Mr. Eichard Hughes, taid y ddau 
berchenog presenol, a'i cychwynodd yn 1820. Ganwyd ef 
yn Adwy'r Clawdd yn 1794, ac yr oedd yn frawd i awdwr 
Methodistiaeth Cymru, sef y Parch. John Hughes, taid y 
ddau aelod Seneddol Cymreig Mr. Herbert Lewis a Mr. 
Herbert Eoberts. Cafodd Mr. Eichard Hughes addysg 
dda; yna gwasanaethodd am yspaid mewn ariandy yn 
Ngwrecsam. Oddiyno aeth i felin bapur Mr. Bromley yn 
Bersham, ar farwolaeth yr hwn y cymerodd efe ac un arall 
y felin ; a dygwyd hi yn mlaen tan yr enw Hughes a 
Phillips. Yn mhen ychydig agorodd ystordy papur yn 
Bank Street, Grwrecsam; cynyddodd y fasnach, a symud- 
wyd hi i le eangach yn Church Street. Yno y dechreuodd 
werthu Uyfrau, ac ni bu yn f oddlawn yn hir cyn dechreu 
argraphu a rhwymo llyfrau, yn ei le ei hun. 

Yn 1837, penodwyd ef yn Gofrestrydd Priodasau 
Gwrecsam y cyntaf yn y dref a'r ardal wedi dyfod y 
ddeddf newydd i rym ; ac yn Bost-feistr y dref yn 
1840. Wedi oes faith, ddiwyd ac anrhydeddus iawn, bu 
Mr. Eichard Hughes farw lonawr 13, 1871, yn 77 
mlwydd oed. Dyn lied fain oedd Mr. Eichard Hughes 
yn gwisgo yn drwsiadus ; araf ei ymadrodd, a phatrwm 
rhagorol o Biwritan synwyrlawn yn gwneud y goreu 
o'r ddau fyd. Yr oedd yn naturiol i wr mor ddwys- 
fyfyriol droi i gyhoeddi llyfrau ; ac i wr mor ddef osiynol 
gyhoeddi llyfrau crefyddol. Nid oes sicrwydd prun oedd 
y Uyfr cyntaf a gyhoeddodd, ond y mae genyf gopi o'r 
Profiedydd Ysgrythyrol wedi ei gyhoeddi ganddo yn 
1834. Y gwaith trymaf a'r gwerthfawroccaf a ddaeth o 
wasg Gwrecsam, yn ystod teyrnasiad unbenaethol Mr. 


Bìchard Hughes, ydoedd Methodistiaeth Cymru jr hwn a 
jmddangosodd yn rhanau ac wed'jn yn dair cyfrol 

Gwr gwahauol o ran pryd a gwedd oedd y mab Mr. 
Charles Hughes. Yr oedd efe yn drymach o gorph, a-c o 
liw cringoch. Ni fuasech bjrth yn meddwl wrth ei olwg ei 
fod yn Fethodist, a dirwestwr cadam. Gallasai dyeithryn 
dybied mai gwestty wr boddlon ydoedd yn mwynhau bywyd 
segur, moethus, a diyni ; ond ni bu erioed yn nhref 
Gwrecsam gymeriad mwy ymdrechgar gyda phob achos 
gymerai mewn llaw ac efFro gyda'i fasnach a'i argyhoedd- 
iadau. Yr oedd yn galed yn ei fargen ; efe a dalai y 
ddimai eithaf, ac a'i mynai. Cynyddodd y fasnach yn 
ddirfawr tra bu ef mewn cysylltiad a hi, sef , am tua 35 
mlynedd ; tra yr un pryd y llanwai bron bob swydd o 
ymddiried y medrai ei gyd-drefwyr ei hestyn iddo. Tr 
oedd yn aelod o Gynghor y Dref, yn Tnad Heddwch tros 
y Dref a Sir Ddinbych ; cymerai ran flaenllaw yn y 
Cwmni Tswiriol, ac yr oedd yn un o hyrwyddwyr penaf 
y ReilfFordd rhwng Gwrecsam a Bwcle. 

Ganwyd ef yn 1823, a bu farw Mawrth 24, 1886, wedi 
treulio ei holl oes yn ei dref enedigol, oddieithr rhyw 
bedair blynedd y bu yn y Brifddinas yn egwyddorwas 
gyda'r lljrfrwerthwyr, Mri. Simpkin Marshall a'u Cyf . 

Colled drom i'r ffirm oedd marwolaeth cydmarol gynar 
Mr. Charles Hughes ; ond bu ei f eibion ar ei ol yn dra 
Uwyddianus wrth ddilyn yn mlaen yn yr un dref n a'u tad. 
Codasant yr adeilad cyhoeddi llyfrau eangaf sydd yn 
Nghymru yn 1895, ac y mae Ehesfcr eu Llyfrau yn 32 
tudalen a'u Cerddoriaeth yn 64 tudalen o hyd. 

Wrth son am Iwyddiant Mri. Hughes ni ddylem 
anghofio y f ath help i hyny a fu gwasanaeth eu traf aeliwr 
Mr. Joseph Eoberts. Yr oedd ef yn deall pob smic ar y 
fasnach; yn cynuU ar ei deithiau farn y Uyf rwerthwyr ; 


ac yn dychweljd yn Uwythog o awgrymiadau ar beth 
fyddai yn debyg o gymeryd, a pha beth yr oedd y wlad yn 
galw am dano. M fu fFyddlonach gweinidog na doethach 
cynghorwr iV feistr erioed na Joseph Roberts. 


Tin o'r swyddf eydd argraphu hynotaf a godwyd yn yr holl 
fyd, oedd yr un a gododd Dafydd Hughes {Eos lal) yn 
LlansantfFraid-glyn-Dyfrdwy, ger Corwen, rywbryd tua 
chanol y ganrif hon. Gwehydd oedd Hughes wrth ei 
alwedigaeth, end aeth y grefFt bono yn ddiwerth, ac efe a 
brynodd hen dype oedd wedi treulio'i ddefnyddioldeb wrth 
argraphu Railway Guides gan Mr. Thomas Thomas o 
Gaerlleon. Yr oedd Mr. Thomas wedi dedfrydu ei holl 
swyddfa i'r pentwr o lythyrenau drwg a eilw printars 
gyda llawer o briodoldeb yn " helly^ a'u bwrw i'r lie anhyf ryd 
hwnw blith draphlith, yn clarendons^ romans, italics^ 
sanserif 8y scripts y ac antiques; ac o bob maintioli adna- 
L byddus a defnyddiol mewn swyddfa o'r fatii, yn pearly 

I nonpareily minion, brevier, bourgeois, long primer, pica, 

english — y cwbl yn un gymysgfa ddidrefn, i ddisgwyl 
prynwr hen dype heibio gan yr hwn y cai rhyw ddwy 
geiniog y pwys am danynt i'w hail doddi a'u hail 
foldio. Yr oedd Hughes wedi rhyw haner penderfynu 
troi'n brintar, wrth ei fod eisoes yn fardd ac yn gallu 
sillebu yn lied gywir; ond nid oedd ganddo mor arian 
gofynol i brynu gwasg a llythyrenau newyddion. Eithr 
yn ffodus, pan ydoedd yn ei benbleth beth i'w wneud, 
clybu am y fargen debygasai ef oedd i'w chael yn Nghaer. 
Felly aeth ef a'i briod i weled Mr. Thomas, a phrynodd y 
pentwr yn ei grynswth. Yr oedd cryn amrywiaeth barn 
yn mysg printars yr oes bono faint o amser a gymerodd i'r 
bardd a'i briod i wneud rhyw lun o sortio ar y pentwr; 
dywedai rhai blwyddyn gron, eraill dwy flynedd, gan 


ddygnu ami beunydd o fore i hwyr f el pe buasent yn pigo 
tatws. Prynasant hefyd, am bris hen haiam, argraphwasg; 
ac yn ystod goruchwyliaeth y pigo, rhydodd y wasg, a bu 
agos iddynt hwythau'r ddau ddiwyd a llewygu o ddifFyg 
ymborth ac o dylodi. O'r diwedd modd bynag, gallwyd 
argraphu rhyw bedair neu bump o gerddi a charolau, 
ac aeth y cwpl oddeutu'r ffeiriau iV canu a'u gwerthu ; a 
gwerthiad rhagorol a gaed amynt am geiniog yr un ; a 
dychwelodd yr Eos a'r Eoses adref yn llwjrthog o bres. 
Cyfranai amryw bethau tuagat eu gwerthiant cyflym 
megys lleisiau aflafar y cantorion, eu diwyg daclus o'u 
cymharu a'r frawdoliaeth faledawl yr oeddynt newydd 
ymuno a hi, ac yn benaf oil, i'r dosbarth mwyaf goleuedig, 
y gymysgfa ysmala o dype a welid yn yr argraphwaith. 
Yr oedd yno dri neu bedwar rhywogaeth weithiau i'w ca'el 
yn yr un galr. Daeth llyf r chwe-cheiniog yn ddiweddarach 
allan o'r un swyddfa ac nid oedd hwnw ychwaith fawr 
iawn gwell o ran ei argraphwaith. Mae gan ein cyfaill 
Uengar Mr. J. H. Davies, Cwrtmawr, un o leiaf o 
gynyrchion gwreiddiol, a phrin erbyn hyn, gwasg Eos lal. 
Ond ni pharhaodd hoedl y ddau ond byr gyda'r alwedigaeth 
newydd ; cawsant anwyd wrth grwydro'r wlad a sefyll yn 
eu hunfan i swgan-ganu mewn ffeiriau gwlybion, a 
chasglwyd hwy at eu pobl. A mwy na thebyg i'r hen 
wasg rydlyd a'r Uythyrenau diffaeth yn fuan ddilyn eu 
perchenogion i gael eu hail f oldio i ymddangos drachef n, 
ni a obeithiwn, mewn diwyg a chyflwr newydd a gweU nag 

John Jones o Lanrwst. 

Haner cant a thriugain mlynedd yn ol, nid oedd yr un 
printar yn Nghymru a'i enw yn fwy adnabyddus i'r werin 
Gymreig na Mr. John Jones o Lanrwst. Efe oedd prif 
argraphydd llenyddiaeth y marchnadoedd a'r ffeiriau. 


megys Almanaciau, Cerddi, Carolau, &c. Sefydlydd y 
llinach lenyddol yr oedd John Jones yn ddolen mor amlwg 
ynddi ydoedd Dafydd Jones o Drefriw, ger Llanrwst. Efe 
a brynodd wasg argraphu Lewis Morys, Mon, pan flinodd 
y dyn doniol hwnw arni fel tegan, ac y gwisgodd ymaith y 
newydd-deb o ymhela a hi. Dyddorol fuasai cael gwybod 
beth a dalodd y rhychor o Drefriw am dani^ canys pren 
ydoedd ; a pha mor bell oddiwrthi y gellid clywed ei gwich 
pan yn gweithio. Hyd oni chodwyd hi yn Nghaergybi yn 
1735 nid oedd yr un argraphwasg yn Ngogledd Cymru. 
Dau lyfryn hyd y gwyddis a ddaeth ohoni o Gaergybi, a'r 
pwysicaf o'r ddau, er nad oedd yntau ond 16 tudalen, 
ydoedd Tlyaau yr Hen Oesoedd^ ac un arall, Annogaeth i 
Arqraphu Llyfrau Cymraeg. Wedi dyf od i f eddiant Dafydd 
Jones, bu yn fwy cynyrchiol, a throdd allan luaws mawr o 
bamphledau ac o gerddi. Tchydig oedd nif er y llythyrenau 
mewn cysylltiad a hi gan nad oes hanes iddi yn Nghaer- 
gybi na Threfriw, droi allan yr un Uyf r o ddim maint — 
rhyw bedair tudalen ellid osod ohoni ar y tro. Ni chy- 
nyrchodd hi ddim am y gwyddis, o 1735 hyd 1777; o 
hyny hyd 1782 enw Dafydd Jones oedd ar ei chynyrchion ; 
yn 1796 ac wed'yn ymddangosent yn ddienw. Tna daw 
enw Ismael Dafydd, mab Dafydd Jones, ac felly y par- 
haodd hyd 1817. Ni wnaeth Ismael Dafydd lawer i 
ddadblygu'r fasnach, ond yn 1817 dilynwyd yntau gan ei 
fab Mr. John Jones, yr hwn a symudodd y fasnach o 
Drefriw i Lanrwst. Eangodd terfynau y fasnach yn 
rhyf eddol tan of al Mr. Jones, canys yr oedd yn f asnachydd 
crafF, yn ddyn Uawn o synwyr cyfFredin cryf, heblaw 
yn fardd da, yn ddarllenwr mawr ac yn ddyfeisiwr 
cywrain. Pwrcasodd amryw argraphweisg o haiarn, i 
gymeryd lie yr hen bress pren; ond ni thaflodd yntau 
ychwaith i'r tan ond cadwodd ef fel hen grair, a chydag ef 
y mae yno hefyd lythyrenau wedi eu toddi mewn moulds o 


waith ei law gywrain ef . Hwyrach mai j llyfr mwyaf a 
gyhoeddodd ac a argraphodd John Jones ydoedd yr 
argraphiad 5«. 6c, o Waith Goronwy Owen, wedi ei olygu 
gan ei fab y Parch. Edward Jones ficer JJlanrhaiadr yn 
Mochnant. Lienor gwir alluog oedd y Parch. Edward 
Jones, a mab iddo ef ydyw'r Parch. G. Hartwell Jones o 
Nutfield, lienor ac ysgolhaig a gwladgarwr, sydd ni a 
obeithiwn i lanw cylch mwy pwysig eto yn ngwasanaeth 
ei wlad a'i genedl cyn bo hir. 

Gwelir f od yma bum cenedlaeth o lenorion yn y teulu 
hwn; Hartwell Jones o Nutfield, ab Edward Jones o 
Llanrhaiadr, ab John Jones o Lanrwst, ab Ismael Dafydd 
o Drefriw, ab Dafydd Jones (Dewi Fardd) cyhoeddwr y 
Dyddanwch Teuluaidd ; pum cenedlaeth nad wyf yn gwybod 
am eu cyffelyb mewn hanes. 

TwM Capel Lulo. 

Tr oedd llawer o f odau rhyfedd, fel y gallesid disgwyl, 
yn dêlio hefo John Jones, ond yr hynotaf ohonynt oil 
mae'n ddiau oedd Thomas Williams, neu fel yr adwaenid 
ef oreu yn Llanrwsfc, — ^tref nodedig am ei Uysenwau — ^^ yr 
hen Gapel Lul ". Yr oedd "Capel Lul" wedi gwasanaethu 
ei amser yn y fyddin, a threulio blynyddoedd yn India, 
yn mysg y blacks chwedl yntau ; ac adyn rhemp am 
ei gastiau a'i ddireidi ydoedd ar hyd ei oes. Ond wedi ei 
ddychweliad o'r fyddin i Lanrwst, daeth ryw don f awr o 
ddiwygiad tros y wlad, ac ysgubodd Twm i'r Seiat. Trodd 
yn ddirwestwr selog, ac yn Uyfrwerthwr bywiog yn y 
ffeiriau er na fedrai ddarllen ond y nesaf peth i ddim. 
Mawr fyddai ei drybini yn fynych gyda gweilch drwg yn 
ei brofocio. " Oes gynoch chi gopi o lyfr Aristotl, Tomos 
Williams,^' ebe haid o hogiau diffaeth wrtho yn ffair 
Bangor ryw dro. " Nag oes, hogia drwg ; blaw hyny, nid 
Haristotl odd o, — Henry Stottle oedd i enw fo.'^ " Dowch 



Tomos Williams, mae gynon ni 2s. 6c. i dalu am dano fo," 
ac wedi hir grefu, dygai'r hen wr y trysor allan o waelod 
ei f asged ; a chynted y gwelent y Uyfr, rhedai'r gweilch i 
fFwrdd nerth eu traed tan waeddi " Ddeydwn ni wrth bobl 
y capel ". 

Eywsut yr oedd "yr hen Gapel Lul" wedi rhedeg i 
ddyled Mr. John Jones yn lied ddyfn, ac yntau yn gwasgu 
tipyn amo, ac yn ei fygwth o fregedd. Yn mhen draw ei 
ardd yr oedd gan yr argraphydd dy hâf, He yr elai ar 
dywydd braf i gael mygyn a chynthun ar ol cinio. Yr 
oedd "yr hen Grapel Lul " gyfrwys yn gwybod am hyn; 
ac aeth yntau i gynal gweddi ddirgel i^r cae oedd am y 
gwrych a'r ardd. Llefarai yn ddigon uchel nid yn unig 
i'r Nef oedd ei gly wed, ond hef yd i'r ysmygydd yn y ty hâf . 
Addef ai, yn mysg amryw gamweddau erail, ei f od yn nyled 
John Jones y Printiwr am lyfrau. " Dyn ffeind iawn, fel 
y gwyddost Ti, Arglwydd mawr ydi Mr. Jones, a mi fydd 
' yr hen Gapel Lul % fel y gwyddost Ti, yn sicr o dalu pob 
dime i Mr. Jones y tro nesa y caifF o'i bension " ; ac f elly^n 
mlaen am haner awr, nes oedd y gwrandawr tros y clawdd 
yn barod i faddeu iddo'r ddyled, a rhoi presant o lyfr 
" Henry Stottle " iddo yn y f argen, am ei gyf rwysdra. 

John Boss. 

Efe oedd prif argraphydd Uyfrau Cymraeg y ganrif 
ddiweddaf. Ychydig o'i hanes sydd ar gael. Dywed 
Gwilym Lleyn mai Ysgotiad ydoedd, iddo dreulio saith 
mlynedd fel arolygydd swyddfa argraphu fawr yn Llun- 
dain, a gorfod ffoi oddiyno am argraphu rhywbeth rhy 
ryddfrydig. Ymsefydlodd yn Nghaerfyrddin. Ceir y 
cofnod cyntaf am dano yn Llyfryddiaeth y Cymry y 
flwyddyn 1743 a'r olaf yn 1799. Felly bu wrth y gwaith am 
56 mlynedd. Rhaid ei f od yn bur hen yn marw, yr hyn 
a gymerodd le, yn nhyb Gwilym Lleyn, cyn diwedd y 


ganrif ; canys dyfyna yr un awdurdod o'r British Magazine 
i'w weddw farw yn lonawr 1800 yn 100 mlwydd oed. 
Gwelais sylwadau yn rhywle, yn dadleu fod dau John 
Ross, tad a mab ; ac y mae hyny yn ddigon posibl, gan na 
chyhoeddwyd yr un llyfr tan yr enw- rhwng 1749 a 1763 
ac y mae bron yn anhygoel i'r un hoedl f asnachol estyn 
cyhyd a 55 mlynedd, er nad yn anmhosibl. 

Pa fodd bynag dyn neu ddeu-ddyn a wnaeth fawr 
wasanaeth i lenyddiaeth Cymru oedd John Eoss ; a 
chawsant yr anrhydedd o argraphu y rhan fwyaf o lyfrau 
Williams o Bantycelyn, Morgan Ehys a Pheter Williams 
yr Esboniwr, ac nid anrhydedd bach mo hyny. Mae'n 
debyg mai anturiaeth benaf Uenyddiaeth Gymraeg y ddeu- 
nawfed ganrif ydoedd, Bibl Teuluaidd Peter Williams. 
Cynwysai yr Apocrypha a 8almau Can Edmwnd Prys, ond 
yr oedd hef yd i'w gael heb yr Apocrypha. Dyma ei wyneb- 
ddalen yn llawn, " Y Beibl Sanctaidd ; sefyr Hen Destament 
a^r Newyddj gyda Nodau a Sylwadau ar bob Pennod, 
Caerfyrddin, argraffwyd dros y Parch. Peter Williams, 
Oan John Ross. 1770.^^ Cyfrol 4plyg drwchus ydoedd; 
argraphwyd 8000 o gopiau ; a gwerthid hwy am bunt yr 
un. anghenrheidrwydd i droi llyfr mor fawr allan 
rhaid fod gan John Eoss swyddfa gref , nifer luosog o 
weithwyr, ac amrywiaeth a swm mawr o lythyrenau. 
Troai ei waith allan yn Ian a destlus, a'r sillebiaeth yn 
bobpeth ellid ddymuno. Yr oedd Eoss yn aelod o Eglwys 
yr Annibynwyr yn Ileol Awst, ac y mae ei enw wrth 
yr alwad a roddodd yr Eglwys hono yn Ehagfyr 1791 
i'r Parch. David Peter i ddyfod yno yn weinidog. Ond 
fel lluaws o brintars cynt a chwedyn byddai'n pechu'n 
fynych y pechod a briodolir y rhan amlaf i gryddion a 
theilwriaid, sef tor-addewid. Poenwyd yr hen Gristion 
tawelf ryd Peter Williams lawer gan y ffaeledd hwn ynddo. 
Yr oedd yr Esboniwr jn byw rai miUdiroedd o Gaer- 


f yrddin, ac elai jno i ddarllen y prof lenni ar gef n ei ebolyn 
bychan ; ac yn ami cai siwmai seithug — ^y proof ddim yn 
barod, ond yn siwr o f od y diwmod ar diwrnod — siomiant 
wed^yn ac felly o dro i dro nes yr ocheneidiai ei enaid, ac 
y dy wedodd wrth ei briod ar ol dychwelyd o un o'r teithiau 
siomedig hyn, " f od digon o ras yn yr Ef engyl i gadw pob 
math o bechadur ond printar". Nid oedd Mr. Boss 
ychwaith heb ei ofidiau; yn codi'n benaf oddiar waith 
rhyw benbyliaid afreolaidd, yn proffesu eu bod yn 
argraphwyr pan nad oeddynt ond teilwriaid go sal 
hwyrach, ac yn codi swyddfeydd gwrthwynebol gan 
dwyllo'r cyhoedd. Yn yr imprint ar wynebddalen 
" Ffarwel weledig, Groesaw anweledig bethau " o waith 
Williams Pantycelyn, chwanegir y geiriau rhybuddiol a 
ganlyn gan Mr. Eoss ^* Yr unig Argraphydd yn y Parthau 
hyn a ddygwyd i fynu yn rheolaidd i'r Gelfyddyd honno." 
Mae llawer o^r natur ddynol yn mhrintars pob gwlad ac 
oes, dyweded pobl a fynant! Ond a'i gymeryd at ei 
gilydd, yr wyf yn credu fod John Eoss yn y dosbarth 
goreu ohonynt ; canys wrth ein fFrwythau yr adnabyddir 
ni; ac efe a gyhoeddodd yn ol y Llyfryddiaeth tua 170 o 
lyfrau Cymraeg, a llyfrau da aphur yn unig a gyhoeddodd, 
mewn oes pan oedd cyhoeddi pob llyfr felly yn fendith 
i gymdeithas, ac yn foddion dyrchafiad moesol a chre- 
fyddol, cystal ag yn golled arianol drom i'r cyhoedd wr. 

Eees o Lantmddtfbi. 

Nid oes amser ar hyn o bryd i gyf eirio at amry w agraphwyr, 
hen a diweddar, y gallwn ddweyd rhai pethau am danynt na 
fuont hyd yn hyn yn ngoleuni dydd. Ti^euliais ddeuddydd 
tua 21 mlynedd yn ol, gyda Mr. William Eees, Llanymddy- 
f ri. Efe oedd ty wysog yr argraphwyr Cymreig. Yr oedd yn 
foneddwr o gyfoeth, ac yn ymddigrifo yn ei grefFt. 
Cyhoeddodd amry w lyfrau na chaf odd, ac na ddisgwyliodd, 


ond colled ananol oddiwrthynt ; ac fe gollodd ganoedd os 
nad miloedd o bunnau. Yr oedd boneddigion eraill yn 
NyfPryn Towy yr un amser^ yn ddiau yn colli mwy nag 
yntau trwy gadw cŵrn hela, a gwleddoedd, a rhialtwch 
afradus o'r fath. Heddyw nid oes gymaint a'u henwau ar 
gael ; eu cŵn, eu gwleddoedd, a'u bloddest, a hwy eu hunain 
wedi Buddo i lynelyn ebargofiant ! Ond am yr hen 
foneddwr-argraphydd o'r Tonn ger Llanymddyfri, edrych 
wch ar ei argraphiad o'r Mabinogion, o Heraldic Visitations 
Lewis Dwnn, a degau o lyfrau eraill, a dangoswch eu 
hharddac fel argraphwaith os gellwch. Tr oedd Mr. Rees 
wedi ei brentisio yn argraphydd, dysgodd ei grefft yn 
drwyadl, — ^yr oedd yn ei charu tra fu byw, ac yn ymfalchio 
yn ei dadblygiad. Mr. Rees oedd noddwr Brutus; efe a 
gyhoeddai'r Haul, misolyn doniol yn proffesu gwasanaethu 
yr Eglwys, ond yn cael ei gadw'n mlaen, er colled i'r 
cyhoeddwr, yn benaf er mwyn i'r braddug mwyaf hyawdl 
a ysgrifenodd Gymraeg erioed, gyhoeddi ei Fugeiliaid 
Eppynty a doniolwch o'r fath. 

Dyddan fuasai son am Hugh Humphreys yr hwn 
a gyhoeddodd lawer o lyfrau da yn gymysg a llawer o 
ysbwrial : yr oedd swyddfa Mr. Humfreys fel ffynon yn 
rhoi allan ddyf roedd melus a chwerw ; ac 

Am P. M. Evans o Dreffynon, imprint yr hwn a f u ar y 
Drysorfa a'r Traethodydd a ThrysorfaW Plant am gynifer o 
flynyddau — swyddfa oedd hon wedi ei himpio a swyddfa 
Evan a John Lloyd o'r Wyddgrug, cyhoeddwyr Cronicl yr 
Oes, yr ymgais gyntaf neu agos y gyntaf a wnaed i sefydlu 
y newyddiadur yn y Gymraeg ; a'r John Lloyd a fu yn 
cyhoeddi yr Amserau yn Lerpwl am gynifer o flynyddau. 

Mor ddymunol hefyd fuasai ugain munud yn nghwmni 
Joseph Harris o Abertawe, a'i f achgen talentog leuan Ddu. 
Dysgodd leuan Ddu y grefft ohono ei hun, gweithiodd yn 
galed gyda chysodi 8eren Oomer iV dad, ac ofnir i hyny 


fyrhau ei oes fer, a'i restru yn mhlith y ** teljrnau a dorwyd 
yn gynar." Y mae'r Farwnad odidog a ganodd ei dad tor- 
calonus ar ei ol, yn golofn na ddiflana i'w gofFadwriaeth. 

Da fuasai ychydig grybwyllion am Humphreys o Gaer- 
narfon, Spurrell o Gaerfyrddin, Mendus Jones (yr hwn a 
f u farw ddeufis yn ol yn 84 mlwydd oed) — ^yr oeddwn yn 
adwaen y tri yn dda, — neu i fyned ganrif yn ol, am yr hen 
Almanacwyr, Thomas Jones, Sion Prys, ac eraill yn 
nghyda'u tywysog Sion Robert Lewis o Gaergybi a'i 
hiliogaeth : am Sion Rhydderch, Thomas Durston, Stafford 
Prys, John Daniel, Robert Marsh, Oliver, Ifan a Rhys 
Thomas ac eraill, ac eraill. 

Hen oeswyr, ddiilanasant 
Fal ewyn nos i fol nant 

ys dywed Cynddelw am fugeiliaid Berwyn. Ond fel y 
dyweol Caledfryn am un o wyr y wasg: — 

Bydd e' fel yn byw eilwaith 
Byw'n ei oes, a byw'n ei waith. 

G. Simpson, Printer^ Devizes. 


C^mmroìíoriott 36iecorì> ê>eríe0» 

Thb idea of the publication of Welsh Records, which had for some time occupied the 
thoughts of leading Welsh Scholars, took a definite and practical shape at the meeting 
of the Cymmrodorion Section of the National Eisteddfod held at Brecon in 1889. 
In the papers which were read at that meeting it was shown that a vast quantity of 
material necessary for understanding the history of Wales still remained buried in 
public and private Libraries, and also that such of the WeUh Chronicles as had 
been given to the world had been edited in a manner which had not fulfilled the 
requirements of modern scholarship. 

As it appeared that the Grovernment declined to undertake any further publica- 
tion of purely Welsh Hecords, it was suggested by Sir John Williams that the 
Council of the Cymmrodorion Society should take the work in hand, and establish a 
separate fund for that purpose. 

The Council are of opinion that a work^ of this magnitude cannot be left to 
private enterprise, although they thankfully acknowledge the indebtedness of all 
Welshmen to such men as Mr. G. T. Clark of Talygarn, the Rev. Canon Silvan Evans, 
Mr. J. Qwenogfryn Evans, Mr. Owen Edwards, Mr. Bgerton Phillimore, and Pro- 
fessor John Rhys, and they fully appreciate the valu«able work done by members of 
the various Antiquarian Societies. 

Private enterprise has enabled the Council to issue, without cost to the Society, the 
first number of the Series which they have undertaken. The edition of OmerCs Pern- 
brokeshire^ two parts of which have already been issued), is the result to Mr. Henry 
Owen — a member of the Society's Council - of long and arduous labour, and of an 
expenditure of a sum of money which would enable any patriotic Welshman who 
follows that example to present similar numbers of the proposed Series to his country- 

The second number of the Series consists of Records from the Ruthin Court 
BxAIb (a.D. 1294-5), edited by Mr. R. Arthur Roberts, of the Public Record OflBce. A 
Cataloffue of the Welsh Manuscripts in the British Museum; a, transcript of The 
Black Book of St, Bavid'Sj and new editions of Nennitbs and Gildas are in course of 

In the future numbers of the Series will be published, from public or private 
MSS., with Introductions and Notes by competent scholars, such Records as will 
throw light on some period of Welsh History. These .publications will, the Council 
trust, go far to remove from the Principality the dishonour of being the only nation 
in Europe which is without an3rtbing approaching to a scientific history. 

It is hoped to issue annually one number of the Series. The cost of each num- 
ber will, it is anticipated, be about £250. To ensure a continuity of publication, it 
is necessary to form a Permanent Capital Fund, and this the Society of Cymmrodorion 
have resolved to do. This Fund, of which Sir John Williams, Bart., Sir W. 
Thomas Lewis, Bart., and Mr. Henry Owen, F.S.A., are the Trustees, will be under the 
<iontrol of the Council, but will be kept separate from the general fund of the Society. 
It will be applicable solely to the purposes herein designated, and an account of 
receipts and payments will be submitted to each contributor. 

Towards the expenses of publication the Council have found themselves in a 
position to set aside, from time to time, from the Society's General Fund the sum of 
£150, a contribution which they trust a large accession of members to the ranks of 
the Society will speedily enable them to augment. 

The Council confidently appeal to. all Welshmen for sympathy and help in this 
really national enterprise. Welshmen are proverbially proud of the antiquities of 
their land. To place the record of these antiquities within the reach of every Welsh 
Student in an accurate and intelligible form, and to enable him to understand the 
growth of the national and individual life. Is a work which should uiiite all Welsh- 
men for the benefit of their countrymen, and for the honour of Wales. 

BUTE, President, 
E. VINCENT EVANS, ŵcreíŵry. 
Cymmbodobion Libbabt, 

64, Chanceby Lakb, London, W.C. 

V Cheques may be sent to R VINCEITr EVANS» Secretary to the 
Honourable Sooiety of Cymmrodorion, 64, Chanoery Lane, W.C, 
crossed ** London Joint Stock Bank, Limited, to the credit of the 
Cymmrodorion Becord Series Fund.'' 


Hottottratrb S^ttátt^ of C^mmrolromn, 


Uterattire^ Science^ and Art as connected with Wales, 

Founded 175«. Revived 1873. 


The Right Hon. The Earl of Jersey. 

The Right Hon. The Earl of Powis. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Llandaff. 

,The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. Asaph. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Bangor. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. David's (deceased). 

The Right Rev. Francis Mostyn, D.D., Bishop of Ascalon, and 

Vicar Apostolic of Wales. 
The Right Hon. Lord Tredegar. 
The Right Hon. Lord Penrhyn. 
The Right Hon. Lord Aberdare. 
The Right Hon. Lord Mostyn. 
The Right Hon. Lord Kensington. 
The Right Hon. Lord Kenyon. 
The Right Hon. Lord Windsor. 
Lord-Justice Vaughan Williams. 

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart. 

Sir Robert A. Cunliffe, Bart. 

Sir W. Thomas Lewis, Bart. 

Sir George Osborne Morgan, Bart., 
M.P. {deceased). 

Sir John T. D. Llewelyn, Bart., 

Lieut.-General Sir Tames Hills- 

Sir Edward J. Reed, K.C.B. 

Sir David Evans, K.C.M.G. 

Sir Owen Roberts, F.S.A. 

Sir Walter Morgan. 

Sir Lewis Morris. 

Sir John H. Puleston. 

W. CoRNWALLis West, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Denbigh. 

H. R. Hughes, Lord Lieut., co. Flint. 

Owen M. Edwards, M.A. 

Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. 

D. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C, M.P. 

The Very Rev. The Dean of Llan- 
daff {deceased). 

The Archdeacon of Llandaff 

His Honour Judge Owen. 

His Honour Judge Lewis {deceased). 

His Honour JUDGE Parry. 

His Honour Judge Gwilym 

William Rathbone. 

J. Ignatius Williams. 

William R. M. Wynne, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Merioneth. 


Stephen Evans, J. P., {Chairman). 

Alfred Daniell, M.A., D.Sc. 

W. Cadwaladr Davies. 

W. E. Davies. 

E. Vincent Evans. 

William Evans. 

Ellis J. Griffith, M.P. 

W. Tudor Howell, M.P. 

T. Howell Williams Idris, F.C.S. 

R. Henry Jenkins. 

Rev. G. Hartwell-Jones, M.A. 

T. E. Morris, M.A., LL.M. 

Alfred Nutt. 

Edward Owen, 

Henry Owen, B.C.L.Oxon., F.S.A. 

Isambard Owen, M.D., M.A. 
Egerton Phillimore, M.A. 
Principal John Rhys, M.A., LL.D. 
Professor Fredk. T. Roberts, M.D. 
H. Lloyd Roberts. 
R. Arthur Roberts. 
Richard Roberts, B.A. 

i. R0MILLY Allen, F.S.A. 
). Lleufer Thomas, B.A. 
HowEL Thomas. 

John Thomas {Pencerdd Gwalia). 
W. Cave Thomas, F.S.S. 
Sir John Williams, Bart., M.D. 
T. Marchant Williams, B.A. 


E. Vincent Evans. 





of t^ ^onowecíiU 

%núúz of OpniFoilopion. 


SESSION 1897-98. 







President :■— The' Most Hon. the Marquess of Bute, K.T. 

This Honoubablb Society of Ctmmbodobion, originally founded under Royal 
patronage in 1751, was revived in 1873, with the object of bringing into closer contact 
Welshmen, particularly those resident out of Wales, who are anxious to advance the 
welfare of their country ; and of enabling them to unite their efforts for that purpose. 
Its especial aims are the improvement of Edacation, and the promotion of intellectual 
culture by the encouragement of Literature, Science, and Art, as connected with 

Meetings of the Society are held in London during the Spring and Summer 
months, for the Beading of Papers on Literary, Scientific, and Artistic subjects, and 
for the discussion of practical qaestions within the scope of the Society's aims. A 
Series of Meetings is annually held in Wales in connection with the National 
Eisteddfod, under the name of "The GTMHBODOBiofif Section", to promote the 
consideration of Educational, Literary, and Social Qaestions affecting the Princi- 
pality. It was from these meetings that the "National Eisteddfod Associa- 
tion", the "Society of Welsh Musicians", and the "Society fob Utilising 
the Welsh Language" sprang: the latter being the outcome of the inquiig^es 
instituted by the Society of Cymmrodorion in 1884 and 1885. 

The Society's collection of books, formed by the bequests of the late Joseph 
Edwards and the late Henry Davies, and by subsequent donations and purchases, is 
open to the use of Members as a Lending Library. 

Subscription to the Society, entitling to copies of all its publications, and 
admission to all meetings : — One Guinea per annum. 

Application for membership should be addressed to the Secretary, E. Vincent 
Evans, New Stone Buildings, 64, Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 


Y Cymmrodor, Vols, ii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, xii, 10*. M, per volume. [Vols, 
i and iii are out of print.] 

The History of the Cymmrodorion. Out of print. 

A Diotionary in Englyshe and Welshe, by Wyllyam Salesbury (1547). 

Facsimile, black letter. 4 parts, 28, 6d. each. 

The Gododin of Aneurin Gwawdrydd, by Thomas Stephens, Author of The 
Lit&rcutwre of the Kymry. 6 parts, 2ä. 6/í. each. 

An Essay on Fennillion Singing (Hanes ac Henafiaeth Canu Gyda'r Tannau) 
by J. Jones (Idris VycTutn). 1 part, 28. Qd. 

Ystorya de Carolo Magno (from the " Red Book of Hergest"). 1 part, 28. 6d, 

Athravaeth Gristnogavl (from the unique copy belonging to the late Prince 
Louis Lucien Bonaparte, originally printed at Milan, A.D. 1568). 1 part, 2s. Sd. 

The Blessednes of Brsrtaine, by Maurice Kyffin (1587). 1 part, 1^. Qd. 

Gerald the Welshman, by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Demy 8vo., vellum 
cloth, gilt, lOs. 

The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen of Henllys. Edited 
by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Being No. 1 of the Oymmrodorion Record 
Series. 2 parts, 21«. Issued free to Members of the Society, by the Editor. 

The Court Bolls of the Lordship of Ruthin or Dyffryn-Clwyd, of the 

Reign of King Edward the First, preserved in the Public Record Office. Edited, 
with Translations, Notes, etc., by R. Arthur Roberts, of H.M. Public Record Office. 
Being No. 2 of the Cymmrodorion Record Series. Price 21«. Issued free to 
Members of the Society. 

The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 

(Sessions, 1892-93, 1893-94, 1894-95, 1895-96, 1896-97, 1897-98). 

Gweithiau lolo Gooh : Gyda Nodiadau Hanesyddol a Beirniadol, gan Charles 
Ashton. The Works of lolo Goch. Price 10s. èd. 

To be obtained on appliciUion to the Secretary ^ a;t the Cymmrodorion Library, 
64, Chancery Lane^ London^ W.C. 


C^tntnroìíonon IRecorti g>eríe£í* 

The idea of the publication of Welsh Records, which had for some time occupied the 
thoughts of leading Welsh Scholars, took a definite and practical shape at the meeting 
of the Cymmrodorion Section of the National Eisteddfod held at Brecon in 1889. 
In the papers which were read at that meeting it was shown that a vast quantity of 
material necessary for understanding the history of Wales still remained buried in 
public and private Libraries, and also that such of the Welsh Chronicles as had 
been given to the world had been edited in a manner which had not fulfilled the 
requirements of modern scholarship. 

As it appeared that the Government declined to undertake any further publica- 
tion of purely Welsh Records, it was suggested by Sir John Williams that the 
Council of the Cymmrodorion Society should take the work in hand, and establish a - 
separate fund for that purpose. 

The Council are of opinion that a work of this magnitude cannot be left to 
private enterprise, although they thankfully acknowledge the indebtedness of all 
Welshmen to such men as Mr. G. T. Clark of Talygarn, the Rev. Canon Silvan Evans, 
Mr. J. Gwenogfryn Evans^ Mr. Owen Edwards, Mr. Egerton Phillimore, and Pro- 
fessor John Rhys, and the^ fully appreciate the valuable work done by members of 
the various Antiquarian Societies. 

Private enterprise has enabled the Council toissue, without cost to the Society, the 
first number of the Series which they have undertaken. The edition of Owen's Pern- 
hrokeshire^ two parts of which have already been issued), is the result to Mr. Henry 
) Owen — a menaber of the Society's Council - of long and arduous labour, and of an 

I) expenditure of a sum of money which would enable any patriotic Welshman who 

follows that example to present similar numbers of the proposed Series to his country- 
men. . 

The second number of the Serie§ consists of Records from the Ruthin Court 
Rolls (A.D. 1294-5), edited by Mr. R. Arthur Roberts, of the Public Record OflSce. A 
Catalofftie of the Welsh Maniiscripts in the British Museum ; a transcript of The 
Black Book of St. David's^ and new editions of Nennius and Oildas are in course of 

In the future numbers of the Series will be published, from public or private 
MSS., with Introductions and Notes by competent scholars, such Records as will 
throw light on some period of Welsh History. These publications will, the Council 
trust, go far to remove from the Principality the dishonour of being the only nation 
in Europe which is without anything approaching to a scientific history. 

It is hoped to issue annuaUy one number of the Series. The cost of each num- 
ber will, it is anticipated, be about £250. To ensure a continuity of publication, it 
is necessary to form a Permanent Capital Fund, and this the Society of Cymmrodorion 
have resolved to do. This Fund, of which Sir John Williams, Bart., Sir W. 
Thomas Lewis, Bart., and Mr. Henry Owen, F.S.A., are the Trustees, will be under the 
control of the Council, but will be kept separate from the general fund of the Society. 
It will be applicable solely to the purposes herein designated, and an account of 
receipts and payments will be submitted to each contributor. 

Towards the expenses of publication the Council have found .themselves in a 
position to set aside, from time to time, from the Society's General Fund the sum of 
£150, a contribution which they trust a large accession of members to the ranks of 
the Society will speedily enable them to augment. 

The Council confidently appeal to all Welshmen for sympathy and help in this 
really national enterprise. Welshmen are proverbially proud of the antiquities of 
their land. To place the record of these antiquities within the reach of every Welsh 
student in an accurate and intelligible form, and to enable him to understand the 
growth of 'the national and individual life, is a work which should unite all Welsh- 
men for the benefit of their countrymen, and for the honour of Wales. 

BUTE, President. 
E. VINCENT EVANS, Secretary. 
Ctmmbodobion Libbaby, 

64, Chancbby Lane, London, W.C. 

%* Cheques may be sent to E. VIHTCENT EVANS, Secretary to the 
Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 64, Chancery Iiane, W.C, 
crossed " Iiondon Joint Stock Bank, Limited, to the credit of the 
Cymmrodorion Record Series Fund." 


Hüitoirralile Sûcútç üf Cgntmroîíorúm, 


Ldteraiure^ Science^ and Art as connected with Wales, 

Founded 1751. Revived 1873. 



The Right Hon. The Earl of Jersey. 

The Right Hon. The Earl of Powis. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Llandaff. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. Asaph. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Bangor. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. David's. 

The Right Rev. Francis Mostyn, D.D., Bishop of Menevia. 

The Right Hon. Lord. Tredegar. 

The Right Hon. Lord Penrhyn. 

The Right Hon. Lord Aberdare. 

The Right Hon. Lord Mostyn. 

The Right Hon. Lord Kensington. 

The Right Hon. Lord Ken yon. 

The Right Hon. Lord Windsor. 

Lord-Justice Vaughan Williams. 

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart. 
Sir Robert A. Cunliffe, Bart. 
Sir W. Thomas Lewis, Bart. 
Sir John T. D. Llewelyn, Bart., 

Sir Marteine O. M. Lloyd, Bart. 
Lieut.-General Sir James Hills- 

áOHNES, G.C.B., V.C. 
DWARD J. Reed, K.C.B. 
Sir David Evans, K.C.M.G. 
Sir Owen Roberts, D.C.L. 
Sir Walter Morgan. 
Sir Lewis Morris. 
Sir John H. Puleston. 

W. CoRNWALLis West, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Denbigh. 
H. R. Hughes, Lord Lieut., co. Flint. 
Owen M. Edwards, M.A. 
Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. 
D. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C, M.P. 
His Honour Judge Owen. 
His Honour Judge Parry. 
His Honour Judge Gwilym 

William Rathbone. 
J. Ignatius Williams. 
William R. M. Wynne, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Merioneth. 


Stephen Evans, J. P., {Chairman), 

Alfred Daniell, M.A., D.Sc. 

J. H. Davies, M.A. 

W. Cadwaladr Davies. 

W, E. Davies. 

E. Vincent Evans. 

William Evans. 

Ellis J. Griffith, M.P. 

W. Tudor Howell, M.P. 

T. Howell Williams Idris, F.C.S. 

R. Henry Jenkins. 

Rev. G. Hartwell-Jones, M.A. 

Rev. H. Elvet Lewis, M:A. 

T. E. Morris, M.A., LL.M. 

Alfred Nutt. 

Edward Owen. 

Henry Owen, B.C.L.Oxon., F.S.A. 

ÍSAMBARD Owen, M.D., M.A. 

Principal John Rhys, M.A., LL.D. 

Professor Fredk. T. Roberts, M.D. 

H. Lloyd Roberts. 

R. Arthur Roberts. 

Richard Roberts, B.A. 

J. RoMiLLY Allen, F.S.A. 

HowEL Thomas. 

John Thomas {Pencerdd Gwalia). 

W. Cave Thomas, F.S.S. 

Sir John Williams, Bart., M.D. 

T. Marchant Williams, B.A. 

J. W. Willis-Bund, F.S.A. 

E. Vincent Evans. 




of t§e ^onoumfiCe 




%ùtifH of OsnimFobopion. 


^^ SESSION 1898-99. 






President :— The Most Hon, the Marquess of Bute, K.T. 
Chairman of the Council:— Mr. Stephen Evans^J.P. 
Treasurer:— Mr, H. Lloyd Roberts, 
Secretary : — Mr. E. Vincent Evans. 

The Honoubablb Society of Cthmbodobion, originally founded under RoyaJ 
patronage in 1751, wae revived in 1873, with the object of bringing into closer contact 
Welshmen, particularly those resident out of Wales, who are anxious to advance the 
welfare of their country ; and of enabling them to unite their efforts for that purpose. 
Its especial aims are the improvement of Education, and the promotion of intellectual 
culture by the encouragement of Literature, Science, and Art, as connected with 

Subscription to the Society, entitling to copies of all its publications, and 
admission to all meetings : — One Guinea per annum. 

Application for membership should be addressed to the Secretary, B. Vincent 
Evans, New Stone Buildings, 64, Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 


Y Oymmrodor, Vols, ii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii,^x, x, xi, xii, and xiii (commencing New 
Series), lOi. ^A. per volume. [Vols, i and iii are out of print.] 

The History of the Cymmroaorion. Out of print. 

A Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe, by WylJyam Salesbury (1547). 

Facsimile, black letter. 4 parts, 2«. 6<i. each. 
The Gododin of Anenrin Owawdrydd, by Thomas Stephens, Author of The 

Literature of the Kymry. 6 parts, 2«. ^d. each. 
An Essay on Fennillion Singing (Hanes ac Henafiaeth Canu Gyda'r Tannau), 

by J. Jones {Idris Vychan). 1 part, 28. &d. 
Ystorya de Carolo Magno (from the »* Red Book of Hergest"). 1 part, 2s. 6d. 
Athravaeth Gristnogavl (from the unique copy belonging to the late Prince 

Louis Lucien Bonaparte, originally printed at Milan, a.d. 1568). 1 part, 2«. Qd. 
The Blessednes of Brytainey by Maurice Kyffin (1587). 1 part. Is. Qd. 
Qerold the Welshman, by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Demy 8vo., vellum 

cloth, gilt, 10s. ' 

Gweithiau I olo Gooh : Gyda Nodiadan Hanesyddol a Beirniadol, gan Charles 

Ashton. The Works of lolo Goch. Price 10«. Qd. 
The Transaotions of the Honourable Society of Oymmrodorion 

(Sessions, 1892 93, 1893-94, 1894-95, 1895-96, 1896-97, 1897-98, 1898-99). 

In the Cxmmrodobion Record Series. 

The Description of Pembrokeshire, by George Owen of Henllys. Edited 
by Henry Owen, B.C.L. Oxon., F.S.A. Wing No. 1 of the Cymmrodorion Record 
Series. 2 parts, 21«. Issued free to Members of the Society, by the Editor. 

The Court Bolls of the Iiordship of Buthin or Dyffryn-Cawyd, of the 
Reign of Bang Edward the First, preserved in the Public Record Office. Edited, 
with Translations, Notes, etc., by R. Arthur Roberts, of H.M. Public Record Office. 
Being No. 2 of the Cymmrodorimi Record Series. Price 2\s. Issued free to 
Members of the Society. 

Gildae de Exoidio Britanniae, Liber de Faenitentia, acoedit et Lorica 

Gildae. (Gildas: the Ruin of Britain, Fragments from Lost Letters, the 
Penitential, together with the Lorica of Giidas.) Part I. Edited by Hugh 
Williams, M.A., Professor of Church History at the Theological College, Bala. 
Being No. 3 of the Cynintrodorion Record Series. In Three Parts. Price, 21«.; 
to Members of the Society, lOs. 6d. 

A Catalogue of the Manuscripts relating to Wales in the British 

Museum. Part I. Compiled and Edited by Edward Owen, ot (Cray's Inn, 
Barrister-at-Iiaw. Being No. 4 of the Oymmrodorion Record Series, Price 21*. 
Issued free upon application to Members of the Society. 

To be obtained on application to the Secretary^ at the Cymmrodorion Library^ 
64, Chancery LanCj Loiùíon, W. C. 



C^mmroijoriott ^ecorij ^erieo* 

-^ ^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^ 

The idea of the publication of Welsh Records, which had for some time occupied the 
thoughts of leading Welsh Scholars, took a definite and practical shape at the meeting 
of the Cymmrodorion Section of the National Eisteddfod held at Brecon in 1889. 
In the papers which were read at that meeting it was shown that a vast quantity of 
material necessary for understanding the history of Wales still remained buried in 
public and private Libraries, . and also that such of the Welsh Chronicles as had 
been given to the world had been edited in a manner which had not fulfilled the 
requirements of modem scholarship. 

As it appeared that the Government declined to undertake any further publica- 
tion of purely Welsh Records, it was suggested by Sir John Williams that the 
Council of the Cymmrodorion Society shoula take the work in hand, and establish a 
separate fund for that purpose. 

The Council are of opinion that a work of this magnitude cannot be left to 
private enterprise, although they thankfully acknowledge the indebtedness of all 
Welshmen to such men as Mr. G. T. Clark of Talygarn, the Rev^ Canon Silvan Evans, 
Mr. J. Gwenogfryn Evans, Mr. Owen Edwards, Mr. Egerton Phillimore, and Pro- 
fessor John Rhys, and they fully appreciate the valuable work done by members of 
the Various Antiquarian Societies. 

Private enterprise has enabled the Council to issue, without -cost to the Society, the 
flist number of the Series which they have undertaken. The edition of Onsen's Pern- 
hrokeshire, two paits of which iiave already been issued), is the result to Mr. Henry 
Owen — a member of the Society's Council - of long and arduous labour, and of an 
expenditure of a sum of money which would enable any patriotic Welshman who 
follows that example to present similar numbers of the proposed Series to his count rv 

The second number of the Series consists of Records from -the Ruthin Couit 
Rolls (A.D. 1294-5), edited by Mr. R, Arthur Roberts, of the Public Record Office. A 
Catalogue of the Welsh Manvaoripts in the British Museum ; a transcript of The 
Black Book of St. Bavid'Sj and new editions of Nennitis and Qildas are in course of 

In the future numbers of the Series will be published, from public or private 
MSS., with Introductions and Notes by competent scholars, such Records as will 
throw light on some period of Welsh History, These publications will, the Council 
trust, go far to remove from the Principality the dishonour of being the only nation 
in Europe which is without anything approaching to a scientific history. 

It is hoped to issue annually one number of the Series. The cost of each num- 
ber will, it is anticipated, be about £250. To ensure a continuity of publication, it 
is necessary to form a Permanent Capital Fund, and this the Society of Cymmrodorion 
have resolved to do. This Fund, of which Sir John Williams, Bart., Sir W. 
Thomas Lewis, Bart., and Mr. Henry Owen, F.S.A., are the Trustees, will be under the 
control of the Council, but will be kept separate from the general fund of the Society. 
It will be applicable solely to the purposes herein designated, and an account of 
receipts and payments will be submitted to each contributor. 

Towards the expenses of publication the Council have found themselves in a 
position to set aside, from time to time, from the Society's General Fund the sum of 
£150, a contribution which they trust a large accession of members to the ranks of 
the Society will speedily enable them to augment. 

The Council confidently appeal to all Welshmen for sympathy and help in this 
really national enterprise. Welshmen are proverbially proud of the antiquities of 
their land. To place the record of these antiquities within the reach of every Welsh 
student in an accurate and intelligible form, and to enable him to understand the 
growth of the national and individual life, is a work which should unite all Welsh- 
men for the benefit of their countrymen, and for the honour of Wales. 

BUTE, President. 
B. VINCENT EVANS, Secretary. 
Cymhbqdobion Libbabt, 

64, Chancery Lane, London, W.C. 

%* Cheques may be sent to E. VIHrCEIirT EVANS, Seoretary to the 
Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, Ö4, Chancery Lane, W.C, 
crossed " London Joint Stock Bank, Limited, to the credit of the 
Cymmrodorion Becord Series Fund." 


Honourable Äomtg of Cçmmroîíorton, 


Literature^ Science, and Art as connected with Wales. 

Founded 1751. Revived 1873. 



The Right Hon. The Earl of Jersey. 

The Right Hon. The Earl of Powis. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Llandaff. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. Asaph. 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of Bangor (deceased). 

The Right Rev. The Lord Bishop of St. David's. 

The Right Rev. Francis Mostyn, D.D., Bishop of Menevia. 

The Right Hon. Lord Tredegar. 

The Right Hon. Lord Penrhyn. 

The Right Hon. Lord Aberdare. 

The Right Hon. Lord Mostyn. 

The Right Hon. Lord Kensington. 

The Right Hon. Lord Kenyon. 

The Right Hon. Lord Windsor. 

Lord-Justice Vaughan Williams. 

Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart. 
Sir Robert A. Cunliffe, Bart. 
Sir W. Thomas Lewis, Bart. 
Sir John T. D.Llewelyn, Bart., M.P. 
Sir Marteine O. M. Lloyd, Bart. 
Lieut.-General Sir Tames Hills- 

Sir Edward J. Reed, K.C.B. 
Sir William H. Preece, K.C.B. 
Sir David Evans, K.C.M.G. 
Sir Owen Roberts, D.C.L. 
Sir Walter Morgan. 
Sir Lewis Morris. 
Sir John H. Puleston. 

W. CoRNWALLis West, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Denbigh. 
H. R. Hughes, Lord Lieut., co. Plint. 
Owen M. Edwards, M.A., M.P. 
Thomas E. Ellis, M.P. (deceased). 
D. Brynmôr Jones, Q.C, M.P. 
His Honour Judge Owen. 
His Honour Judge Parry. 
His Honour Judge Gwilym 

William Rathbone. 
•J. Ignatius Williams. 
William R. M. Wynne, Lord Lieu- 
tenant, CO. Merioneth. 



Stephen Evans, J. P., {Chairman). 

Alfred Daniell, M.A., D.Sc. 

J. H. Davies, M.A. 

W. Cadwaladr Davies. 

W. E. Davies. 

E. Vincent Evans. 

William Evans. 

Ellis J. Griffith, M.P. 

W. Tudor Howell, M.P. 

T. Howell Williams Idris, F.C.S. 

R, Henry Jenkins. 

Rev. G. Hartwell-Jones, M.A. 

Rev. H. Elvet Lewis, M.A. 

T. E. Morris, M.A., LL.M. 

Alfred Nutt. 

Edward Owen. 

Henry Owen, D.C.L.Oxon., F.S.A. 

IsAMBARD Owen, M.D., M.A. 

Principal John Rhys, M.A,, LL-D. 

Professor Fredk. T. Roberts, M.D. 

H. Lloyd Roberts. 

R. Arthur Roberts. 

Richard Roberts, B.A. 

J. RoMiLLY Allen, F.S.A. 

HowEL Thomas. 

John Thomas (Pencerdd Gwalia). 

W. Cave Thomas, F.S.S. 

Sir John Williams, Bart., M.D. 


Äecrctarg. f' ^y 

E. Vincent Evans. 








JUL 5- 19N